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Toyota North America to Get More Control?


Toyota NAmerica forms independent panel to evaluate workplace harassment –

Toyota Motor North America Names New Leadership Team, Appointing Yuki Funo Chairman and CEO, and Jim Press President

If there is any upside in the alleged Toyota sexual harrassment incident, it's that an American, Jim Press, has been promoted into the role of President of Toyota North America (TMA).

“Jim Press, the first American to head Toyota's North American operations, said his appointment was announced one month earlier than planned because of sexual harassment charges involving his predecessor, Hideaki Otaka.

‘We are going to make sure that this is a learning process,' Press said after a speech in Detroit.”

That sounds like a very Toyota-like thing to say. Press isn't having to come in with a new “Way Forward” or any such “I'm now in charge” executive pronouncements. He has the luxury of stepping into a role where he doesn't have to shake things up radically, as far as the Toyota business goes. He can learn and lead.

For those who think Toyota wants to control everything from Japan, by Japanese:

“Press said that he will seek more autonomy for the North American operations.

‘The decisions we're making in terms of investments and product development and mix in our plants are all much more being fueled from here as opposed to being in Japan,' he said.”

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Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. He is author of the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, as well as The Executive Guide to Healthcare Kaizen. His most recent book is the anthology Practicing Lean that benefits the Louise H. Batz Patient Safety Foundation, where Mark is a board member. Mark is also the VP of Improvement & Innovation Services for the technology company KaiNexus. He is currently writing his next book, tentatively titled Measures of Success.

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