Toyota Streamlines Management Structure

November 30, 2018 at 1:45 PM

Toyota Motor Corp. is reorganizing its executive structure to create fewer management layers, enable faster decision making and promote managers based more on their accomplishments rather than seniority.

CEO Akio Toyoda says the streamlined structure, which takes effect Jan. 1, reflects Toyota’s transition from being a traditional carmaker to that of a new mobility provider for connected, autonomous, shared and electrified vehicles. The Nikkei reported on the impending new approach earlier this month.

Under the new structure, Toyoda (pictured) will add the title of chief branding officer for the carmaker’s Toyota and Lexus marques. The other six top-tier executives largely retain their current duties.

A dozen senior managing officers (and three other executives) will get the new title of “operating officer.” The group includes regional chiefs Masahiko Maeda (China/Asia), Yasuhiko Sato (Japan), Johan van Zyl (Europe), Nobuhiko Murakami (East Asia, Oceania and the Middle East), Jim Lentz (North America) and Steve St. Angelo (Latin America), as well as Lexus boss Yoshihiro Sawa and several department heads.

A new classification called "senior professional/senior management" will replace a host of titles and ranks, such as managing officers, executive general managers, grand masters, and senior grade 1 and 2 managers. Jobs within this group also could include chief and deputy chief officers, field and plant general managers, and group managers, according to Toyota.

A full list of the affected executives and their new responsibilities is available on Toyota’s website.