Bob Carter, 57, currently senior vice president of automotive operations, has been named executive vice president, sales for Toyota Motor North America, president of Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., and executive general manager at the parent company in Japan, the company said in a statement today.
With these expanded roles, the automaker said, Carter will have responsibility for sales, marketing, distribution and customer service for the Toyota and Lexus brands in North America. He will report to Toyota North America CEO Jim Lentz.
Carter’s being named an executive general manager at the parent company puts him just a few rungs below the top level of executives in Japan. In Toyota’s hierarchy, executive general managers rank behind only board directors, senior managing officers and managing officers.
Separately, Toyota said today that it will trim the number of directors on its board to nine from eleven currently. The changes aim to speed decision making.
Jack Hollis, 50, currently group vice president at Toyota Division marketing for TMS, has been named group vice president and general manager for Toyota Division, succeeding Bill Fay.
Fay has been named senior vice president of automotive operations for Toyota and Lexus brands, succeeding Carter. Fay will report to Carter.
Ed Laukes has been named group vice president for Toyota Division marketing, succeeding Hollis. He will report to Hollis.
The changes are effective April 1, the automaker said.
“These appointments reflect Toyota’s ongoing efforts to strengthen regional integration in North America,” said Lentz, in a statement. “This will allow us to bring new perspectives and insights to these critical roles in order to respond more quickly to our customers’ needs.”
Fay told Automotive News on Wednesday that the shift in executive responsibilities will bring Hollis more into contact with dealer groups and the media, while Fay will move a little bit out of the spotlight to dedicate time to Lexus, which was not part of his previous portfolio. Jeff Bracken continues as general manager of Lexus.
As Hollis adds sales and customer relations to his job while maintaining marketing oversight, he’ll be more of a presence at dealer gatherings and media events, Fay said. “He’ll be out there more often with that combined role,” he added.
Carter will continue to be active with dealers, but will be spending more of his time on product planning and maybe some governmental affairs, Fay said on the sidelines of an event for the new C-HR crossover.
“Bob is hands-on, so he’ll stay very active,” Fay said.
Fay himself will continue to attend dealer events like NADA, along with auto shows and industry events, but skip some of the media outings like the one in Austin this week to present the C-HR to automotive journalists.
In terms of timing, Fay said that “it does time well with the Toyota move into its new headquarters, which will take place in the summer.”
Fay and Hollis have been closely connected during their tenures at Toyota.
When Fay was named general manager of the Toyota Division in 2012, Hollis filled Fay’s previous position of group vice president for Toyota marketing.
Under Fay, Toyota Division’s U.S. sales increased, but its market share dipped, albeit slightly.
The Toyota Division sold 1,764,833 vehicles in the U.S. in 2012, giving it a 12.2 percent share of the light-vehicle market. That was good for third place behind 14.9 percent for Ford Motor Co.’s Ford brand and 12.8 percent for General Motors’ Chevrolet brand.
In 2016, Toyota Division sold 2,106,374 vehicles. That gave it a market share of 12 percent, behind only Ford brand’s 14.2 percent. Chevrolet was No. 3 with sales of 2,096,510, also good for a 12 percent market share.
Japan, Europe changes
Additionally, some executives will be returning to Japan, including:
• Osamu “Simon” Nagata, 59, who will become Toyota’s CFO. He will also become a member of Toyota’s board of directors following approval at the general shareholders meeting in late June.
• Kazuo “Kaz” Ohara, 59, will become a global advisor to TMC. Previously, he was president and CEO of TMS.
• Osamu Ushio has been named the Tahara Plant general manager and will continue to serve as executive general manager at TMC. Previously, he was executive vice president of Toyota Motor Engineering & Manufacturing North America.
Succeeding Nagata as TMNA chief administrative officer will be Tetsuo Ogawa, 57, currently a TMC managing officer and head of the China region. He will report to Lentz.
In addition, Toyota Europe CEO Johan van Zyl 58, gets a promotion to senior managing officer from managing officer, while current managing officer Karl Schlicht, 56, Toyota Europe’s executive vice president, will be resigning.
Fuente: Automotive News