Halfway down a press release announcing that Shigeki Terashi was named president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA) was this: Jim Lentz is named CEO of Toyota Motor Sales, effective April 1. Lentz is the first American to take that position in the company.
TMA is the holding company under which all of Toyota's North American operations are grouped. Terashi will fulfill two roles when his new appointment is official on April 1, the new one and his current one as president of Toyota Engineering and Manufacturing, NA.

Lentz will rise from his current position as COO. He became one of the prominent faces of Toyota during the company's recent recall issues, publicly making the interview rounds and testifying before Congress to address the situation.

Follow the jump for Toyota's press release on the management shuffle.
Show full PR text
Toyota Announces North American Leadership Changes

(March 07, 2012) -- Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC) announced various global leadership changes today, including the naming of Shigeki Terashi as president and COO of Toyota Motor North America, Inc. (TMA) effective April 1.

In this new role, Mr. Terashi will be Toyota's chief regional officer for North America, and will chair Toyota's cross-affiliate North American Executive Committee.

Mr. Terashi, who will also retain his current position as president of Toyota Motor Engineering and Manufacturing, North America, Inc. (TEMA), joined Toyota in 1980 in the body engineering design division and began by working on the Camry project. Before being named president of TEMA last year, Mr. Terashi led the Toyota Technical Center (TTC) and oversaw the development and launch of the Venza, Sienna and other key products in North America.

Other North American changes announced today, also effective April 1, include:
- Yoshi Inaba, currently president and COO of TMA, will remain on Toyota's North American Executive Committee to support Mr. Terashi in his new role, but will be moving back to Toyota Motor Sales, USA, Inc. (TMS), to focus mainly on his role as Chairman of TMS.
- Jim Lentz, currently president and COO of TMS, will become president and CEO of TMS. Mr. Lentz is the first American to be named CEO of TMS.
- Massy Tomozoe, previously senior vice president of North America business planning and chief coordinating officer for TMA, will return to Japan to accept a senior management position, which will be announced at a later date.

Under Mr. Terashi's leadership, Toyota's North American Executive Committee will continue to meet monthly. Other members of the Executive Committee include: Yoshi Inaba, Dian Ogilvie, George Borst, Jim Lentz, Kazuhiro Miyauchi, Ray Tanguay and Steve St. Angelo.


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  • 19 Comments
      HeadClinic
      • 2 Years Ago
      wow, what's up with all the conspiracy theorists and anti-Japanese rhetoric? It's just a simple press release. Jeesh
      Chris
      • 2 Years Ago
      I actually met Mr. Lentz about 3 years ago. He was a very personable person, did not hesitate to start up a conversation and was all together very friendly. Not that that has much bearing on his capacity as Toyota CEO. Congrats and good luck. Chris
      Fat Kid
      • 2 Years Ago
      This guys is a Lentz which is German and therefore an ally of the Japanese.
        Fat Kid
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Fat Kid
        furthermore, he's a southerner and Republican and anti unionist. you can tell by his accent
          mchlrus1
          • 2 Years Ago
          @Fat Kid
          Prejudice jerk. Get off of Autoblog. Anyone can be prejudice, even the people against it.
      • 2 Years Ago
      [blocked]
      kontroll
      • 2 Years Ago
      he sure looks like a toyota something...
        landypd5
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kontroll
        he sure needs a couple of facial reconstruction kinda like make the eyes a lil bit slanted so he can fit with the top japanese corporates. ;)
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kontroll
        you're correct...he looks like the average american toyota buying MORON... they picked the perfect CEO.There are a million more of these idiots in america who could have been a toyota CEO...this is pure and simple marketing , like Mickey Mouse is for kids this stereotype of an idiot american is the idol for the toyota a$$holes
        carfan
        • 2 Years Ago
        @kontroll
        you're correct...he looks like the average american toyota buying MORON... they picked the perfect CEO.There are a million more of these idiots in america who could have been a toyota CEO...this is pure and simple marketing , like Mickey Mouse is for kids this stereotype of an idiot american is the idol for the toyota a$$holes
      Renaurd
      • 2 Years Ago
      Of course he's the new CEO, he knows where all the information's buried, the information that would "bury" Toyota.
        Renaurd
        • 2 Years Ago
        @Renaurd
        I'll bet if his tongue gets a little loose, he can own 50% of the corporation.
      billfrombuckhead
      • 2 Years Ago
      Joe Isuzu promoted for the good job with the coverups. Who are the highest ranking blacks and Hispanics at Toyota?
      ncee
      • 1 Year Ago
      A lot of unhappy 2013 Avalon owners starting to show up:(? - http://townhall-talk.edmunds.com/WebX?14@@.f23b80c/306 Hell, I traded mine in after only 2300 miles. This is NOT a "Premium Luxury Sedan"! Maybe a "Premium Luxury SPORTS Sedan" - Harsh Ride - "Sports" paddle shifters - "Sports Mode" option - Low Profile Tires - Firm Seats
      Big Squid
      • 2 Years Ago
      He's perfect for the job. Look how boring he looks.
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