(ChameleonsEye/Shutterstock.com)

Toyota Motor North America Announces Executive Changes

Originally published on pressroom.toyota.com.

Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) announced executive changes to its Social Innovation and Toyota de Mexico operations.

Effective September 1, 2020, Sean Suggs, president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS), will be assigned as group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA. Suggs will take on a dual-capped role, keeping his TMMMS responsibilities until further notice.

In his new role, Suggs is responsible for TMNA’s philanthropic efforts, the Toyota USA Foundation, and the corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. He will report to Sandra Phillips Rogers, group vice president, general counsel, chief legal officer and chief diversity officer, TMNA.

As president of TMMMS, Suggs will continue to report to Brian Krinock, senior vice president, vehicle plants, TMNA.

Suggs is replacing Albert (Al) Smith, Jr., group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA, who is retiring after 30 years with the company. Smith was instrumental in shaping the company’s Social Innovation team and its direction. Under his leadership, Toyota has been recognized by numerous organizations for its commitment to improving the communities where we operate and for its diversity and inclusion initiatives, resulting in Toyota’s rise in the rankings to 10th place on DiversityInc’s 2020 Top 50 Companies for Diversity®.

“Strong community engagement and inclusiveness have become more prevalent in our daily lives,” said Phillips Rogers. “We thank Al for all he has done for our company, and Sean will continue to uphold Toyota’s commitment for Respect for All, while helping to create future initiatives that will make a lasting, positive impact on our workplace, marketplace and society.

In addition, effective August 3, 2020, Luis Lozano, external affairs senior director, general counsel and compliance, Toyota Motor Sales de México (TMEX) will be assigned as president of Toyota de Mexico (TdM). Lozano will replace Mike Bafan, current president of TdM.

Lozano, who joined the company in 2005, will be responsible for public affairs, including Legal and Compliance, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, and Customs and Trade Compliance for Toyota in Mexico. He will report to Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer, manufacturing and corporate resources, TMNA.

Bafan remains chairman of Toyota Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT) and group vice president, Manufacturing Project Innovation Center (MPIC), TMNA, based in Plano, Texas.

Tom Sullivan remains president of TMEX responsible for sales and working with Toyota’s dealer network in Mexico.

Additionally, Jun Umemura, who served as group vice president of Mexico Affairs, TMNA, will be retiring after more than 50 years of service with Toyota.

During Umemura’s 50-year career with Toyota, he has helped the company establish its U.S. manufacturing operations in 1984 and was involved with the planning and start-up of the company’s first wholly-owned vehicle manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Ontario, Canada.  He was also responsible for the start-up of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Baja California (TMMBC), Toyota’s first plant in Mexico, established in 2002. In 2016, he became group vice president of TMNA, responsible for Mexico operations, as well as Board member and executive advising officer for TMEX, TMMBC and Toyota Motor Manufacturing Guanajuato (TMMGT).

“Jun’s Toyota career spans five decades and helped lay the groundwork for our manufacturing footprint, represented today by 14 plants in North America,” said Reynolds. “At the same time, Al’s career spanned three decades and his contributions to the organizations’ shared impact strategy, corporate planning, sales and service operations are unparalleled. We thank Jun and Al for their dedicated service to Toyota and our customers, and welcome Sean and Luis, both of whom are proven leaders, well-respected within the industry and passionate about our company.”

Latest News

woke politics

Republicans Launch a War on ‘Woke’ Politics in Hopes of Big Legislative Wins in 2022

In 2020, former President Barack Obama warned that the phrase “Defund the Police” could become a dangerous rallying cry for the conservative right. But now, Republicans have apparently taken that warning one step further, declaring war on all things “woke.” Allan Smith and Sahil Kapur of NBC News wrote that…

women in politics

Women Remain Vastly Underrepresented in Local Government, Despite Conventional Wisdom Suggesting Otherwise

Vice President Kamala Harris and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi sat behind President Biden during his first speech to a joint session of Congress on April 28 — representing the first time two women held such important and high-ranking political offices. Even after such a historic moment, the reality…

voter restriction

Florida Follows Georgia’s Lead, Approves Racist Anti-Voter Restrictions Aimed Primarily at Democrats and People of Color

Not content with letting Georgia be the only state in the South demonized for its bigoted and racist attacks on voter rights, Florida has jumped into the fray in issuing its own series of new and highly controversial “Jim Crow-esque” anti-voting restrictions aimed specifically at disenfranchising Democrats and voters of…

Kentucky Derby

Inspired by Protests Over Breonna Taylor’s Death, Humana and Kentucky Derby Festival Launch Diversity and Inclusion Initiative in Louisville

Ahead of the 147th Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 1, Kentucky Derby officials and Humana (No. 25 on The DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity list in 2020) have announced a new equity initiative meant to make the race more accessible and welcoming to everyone, regardless of race, gender, age…

crimes against human ity

‘Crime Against Humanity’; Global Report Says the US Should Be Prosecuted in International Criminal Court for Ongoing Police Murders of Black Americans

In what has been described as a “devastating” report, human rights experts and lawyers have investigated and released a 188-page analysis of the ongoing police brutality and killing of Black Americans in the U.S. Their verdict: the country is guilty of “crimes against humanity” and should be prosecuted for its…

Tokyo, Olympics

Tokyo Olympics to Encourage Significant Increase in Gender Equality Among Event’s Corporate Sponsors

Besides simply being a showcase for some of the most talented and athletic men and women on the planet, the organizers of the Tokyo Olympics are hoping their event this summer can also help promote significant change in corporate culture, both in Japan and around the globe. Bloomberg’s Ayai Tomisawa…