Toyota ups Hamp to global comms chief, managing officer

The PepsiCo veteran will relocate to the automaker's Tokyo headquarters next month.

TOKYO: Toyota Motor has promoted Julie Hamp, CCO for North America, to the global role of managing officer and chief communications officer, making her the first female senior executive to reach that level at the automaker.

Hamp, who took over communications at Toyota North America in June 2012, will relocate to the company’s Tokyo headquarters next month. Scott Vazin, VP of corporate and regional communications for Toyota North America, will succeed her in the regional role.

Since Hamp joined the automaker, Toyota reclaimed the top spot as the world’s number one car-seller in 2012. The company also launched its Let’s Go Places campaign in fall 2012, emphasizing the way it is moving forward.

In December 2013, Toyota also added communications executives to help it better engage black and Hispanic consumers in North America.

Prior to joining Toyota, Hamp served as PepsiCo’s CCO and SVP of consumer relations for more than four years. She resigned from the post in March 2012. During her time at PepsiCo, Hamp reorganized the comms department to be more streamlined and globally focused.

Before PepsiCo, Hamp worked at General Motors for 25 years, where she held senior communications roles such as VP of communications for Europe and general director of communications for Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East.

She was ranked number 25 in the 2014 edition of PRWeek’s Power List.

In addition to Hamp’s appointment, the car company has promoted European CEO Didier Leroy to one of six global EVP positions. He will serve on the board and handle Toyota’s business in the US, Japan, and Europe.  

Christopher Reynolds, the automaker’s highest-ranking black staffer, was named general counsel for North America. Jim Lentz, CEO for North America, is taking on additional responsibilities for North American manufacturing operations and engineering and research operations.

The changes reflect the company’s "ongoing efforts to diversify its global leadership team and leverage talent from its biggest, most experienced market as it continues to evolve as a global, customer-focused company," it said in a statement. It added that Toyota wants to enhance its regional integration in North America.

Representatives from Toyota were not immediately available for comment.

Toyota, which is moving its US headquarters from Torrance, California, to Plano, Texas, began building a new campus at the beginning of this year. It’s expected to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017.

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