Updated: Press leaving Toyota for Chrysler


Autoblog.com report

This is surprising — Toyota's top U.S. executive, Jim Press, who had been the first American named as a Toyota corporate director, is leaving to take a top sales and marketing job at Chrysler.

Does this mean Tom LaSorda's days are numbered, as the Autoblog speculates? Or, do they have a perfect pairing of a supply chain wiz (Tom) and a demand side wiz (Jim), as the WSJ article suggested?

How will Press shift from working for Toyota leadership to working for Bob Nardelli and his GE style?

More news stories, courtesy of Google
. Does anyone have some thoughts on this?

UPDATED: More familiar bloggers chiming in:

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Mark Graban
Mark Graban is an internationally-recognized consultant, author, and professional speaker, and podcaster with experience in healthcare, manufacturing, and startups. Mark's new book is The Mistakes That Make Us: Cultivating a Culture of Learning and Innovation. He is also the author of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More, the Shingo Award-winning books Lean Hospitals and Healthcare Kaizen, and the anthology Practicing Lean. Mark is also a Senior Advisor to the technology company KaiNexus.


  1. I was amazed when this came out yesterday. Will Press take his Toyota philosophy with him and turn Chrysler around, or will he be beaten down by the GE philosophy and regret switching companies.

    Having worked for (and currently working with) GE or GE-trained leadership, I can comfortably say GE has no understanding of Lean, as one of two main Lean principles is Respect for People (they don’t understand that.) Press will be hard-pressed (no pun intended) to change that culture. As many of us have noted, culture is the aspect of Lean that so many companies fail miserably with.

    The article I read yesterday had an interesting twist, what will be the impact to Toyota? Press gave an American face to a company trying to break in to a uniquely American business – the full-sized Truck market. Toyota has already announced that a Japanese manager will take over. How will that impact the “Cowboy” market they are trying to dive into?


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