Toyota promotes US executives to corporate posts, consolidates power with North American CEO

IndustriesAssociated Press

Toyota has announced sweeping management changes that consolidate power with North American CEO Jim Lentz and promote some U.S. executives to senior posts in Japan.

Lentz, who previously led sales and marketing, will head Toyota's North American manufacturing operations when the changes take place April 1. North American engineering and research operations also will report to him.

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Toyota also promoted North American communications chief Julie Hamp to chief communications officer for the entire company. She's Toyota's first female managing officer. And it named Chris Reynolds a managing officer and chief legal officer for the whole company. He's the first African-American to hold the positions. Reynolds was general counsel for U.S. operations.

Company President Akio Toyoda says the diverse team of executives will help Toyota serve customers better around the world.