On December 3, Toyota Canada announced that effective January 1, a Canadian would occupy the President and CEO’s seat for the first time. Larry Hutchinson, who currently functions as VP of sales and marketing in the country. Hutchinson has been with Toyota since 1986 and was involved in the Canadian launch of Lexus, so it would seem that he is well equipped to take on the role.
As has become somewhat common when a visible employee leaves the company, the release does not mention anything about the destination of current President Seiji Ichii, which wrinkled the noses of some industry insiders. An anonymous source tells Driven Wheels that Ichii, who has been president at Toyota Canada since 2012, has left the company to pursue a role back in Japan with a massive dealer group called Yokohama Toyopet. Where things get interesting is that Toyopet owns Don Valley North Toyota in the Toronto area, which also happens to be one of, if not the largest Toyota dealership in this country. Scuttlebutt says that Ichii may actually end up back on Canadian soil, overseeing that operation.
Other moves will see take over the role of VP sales and marketing, while Jennifer Barron will become director of Lexus.
Toyota Canada press release
TORONTO, ON – December 3, 2015 – Toyota today announced executive changes across its North American operations, effective as of January 1, 2016.
The appointments reflect Toyota’s ongoing efforts to diversify its global leadership team and to continue evolving as a global, customer-focused company. Toyota is also further strengthening regional integration in North America so it can respond more quickly and effectively to its customers’ needs.
Larry Hutchinson, Vice President of Sales and Marketing, is appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of Toyota Canada Inc. (TCI) and will be the first Canadian to assume this role. Larry will oversee all aspects of sales and marketing in Canada and will be reporting directly to Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota North America.
Additional executive changes include:
The appointment of Cyril Dimitris, Director of Lexus and Scion Divisions in Canada to Vice President of Sales reporting to Larry Hutchinson
The appointment of Jennifer Barron, National Manager of Service Retention to Director of Lexus Division, reporting to Larry Hutchinson.
These changes demonstrate Toyota’s commitment to the growth of its business in Canada, better positioning the company for sustainable, long-term growth both in North America and globally.