Plano-based Toyota Motor North America has appointed Tellis Bethel as chief diversity officer.
He will lead Toyota’s longstanding efforts to advance diversity and inclusion through an integrated, holistic strategy that addresses the workplace, the marketplace, and society and reflects its core value of respect for people, the company said.
In this new role, Bethel will report to Ted Ogawa, president and chief executive officer, Toyota Motor North America, the company said.
Toyota North America said that Bethel will continue to serve as group vice president and chief social innovation officer where he oversees TMNA’s strategic partnerships, education initiatives such as Driving Possibilities, and the Way Forward Fund.
With the company’s goal of ensuring mobility for all, he directs programs to expand access to opportunities and create a culture of inclusion that strengthens both communities and TMNA, Toyota said.
Bethel started his Toyota Financial Services career in risk management planning with an emphasis on financial hedging activities. Later, he took on roles of increasing responsibility in the risk, sales, marketing, and analytics departments.
Elevating diversity and mobility
The company said that in his role as chief social innovation officer, Bethel will continue to report to Sandra Phillips Rogers, senior vice president, corporate resources, general counsel, Toyota Motor North America.
Rogers became CDO in December 2018 and, under her leadership, Toyota elevated its Diversity Inc. ranking from No. 18 to No. 4 while expanding its Business Partnering Groups to more than 9,500 members. Rogers led the company’s DEI efforts during the pandemic, engaging with strategic partners to help those most impacted, especially in communities with diverse populations, Toyota said.
Toyota directly employs more than 48,000 people in North America who have been a part of the design, engineering, and assembly of nearly 45 million cars and trucks at its 13 manufacturing plants.
By 2025, Toyota said its 14th plant in North Carolina will begin to manufacture automotive batteries for electrified vehicles. Toyota offers 22 electrified options.
Through the Start Your Impossible campaign, Toyota said it highlights the way the company partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address society’s most pressing mobility challenges.
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