I wonder how other automakers would do having process thinkers instead of finance people in top posts?
John Krafcik, one of the foremost U.S. experts on lean manufacturing, has been named the new acting president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America. The unexpected announcement was made Monday.
Krafcik, 47, an American who worked on the International Motor Vehicle Program at MIT (immortalized in The Machine That Changed the World), replaces Korean Jong Eun Kim.
Krafcik is actually the one (not Womack or Jones) who coined the term “Lean,” during the IMVP research effort, describing the outputs of a process (Toyota's) that could produce in half the space, with half the labor, half the defects, etc.
Maybe the closest thing we had to a “Lean CEO” was Chrysler's Tom LaSorda, and that hasn't really worked out too well (maybe through no fault of his own).
It will be interesting to see how this works out.
In a somewhat related note — in all of the discussion and analysis of the Detroit Three bailout proposals, has ANY news article mentioned the role of Lean and the Toyota Production System in Toyota's success? I don't see any discussion (other than the blog world) about Toyota's management system being different… just the usual littany of excuses that explain away Toyota's success.
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