Toyota Motor North America Makes Five Executive Changes to Social Innovation, Toyota de Mexico Operations

Sean Suggs will be taking on the role of group vice president, chief social innovation officer on Sept. 1 after Plano-based Albert Smith, Jr. retires.

Plano-headquartered Toyota Motor North America (TMNA) has announced two employees are taking on new roles, while two executives are retiring and one person is stepping down from a current role.

Sean Suggs will be taking on the role of group vice president and chief social innovation officer of TMNA. Suggs will have a dual-capped role by also keeping his current position as president of Toyota Motor Manufacturing, Mississippi (TMMMS) for the time being. 

Sean Suggs [Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America]

Suggs’ new role will make him responsible for TMNA’s philanthropic efforts, the Toyota USA Foundation, and Toyota’s corporate diversity and inclusion strategy. Suggs is replacing Plano-based Albert Smith, Jr., group vice president, chief social innovation officer, TMNA, who is retiring after 30 years with Toyota.

Smith helped to shape and direct Toyota’s social innovation team, according to the company.

Suggs will continue to be based in Mississippi, but will report to Plano-based Sandra Phillips Rogers, group vice president, general counsel, chief legal officer, and chief diversity officer of TMNA, for his new role. He will also report to Brian Krinock, TMNA’s senior vice president of vehicle plants for his role as president of TMMMS.

Suggs’ new role will go into effect on Sept. 1.

“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,” Rogers said in a statement. 

Toyota’s recent philanthropic efforts have included manufacturing protective face shields for frontline medical workers, offering its production insights to outside companies wanting to make critical supplies and equipment, and donating to organizations including the Salvation Army and United Way, according to a statement.

Toyota has donated $6 million to emergency relief, $1.8 million by manufacturing protective equipment, and $100,000 in personal protective equipment for health care workers. Toyota’s innovative makerspace called the TILT Lab has helped the global company meet its goal of fabricating and donating 500,000 commercial-grade face shields through June 2020.

Toyota’s TILT lab— Toyota’s Manufacturing Projects Innovation Center—works on things like advanced robotics and experimental equipment. TILT was able to produce and ship 200 shield kits per day by using 3D printers. [Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America]

Luis Lozano will be taking on the role of president of Toyota de Mexico (TdM) from his current role as external affairs senior director, general counsel and compliance, Toyota Motor Sales de Mexico (TMEX). Lozano will replace Mike Bafan, which will go into effect on August 3, 2020.

Lozano will be in charge of public affairs, such as Legal and Compliance, Government and Regulatory Affairs, Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility, and Customs and Trade Compliance for Toyota in Mexico. 

Lozano will report to Chris Reynolds, chief administrative officer, manufacturing and corporate resources, TMNA. Bafan will remain chairman of Toyota Manufacturing de Baja California (TMMBC) and Toyota Motor Manufacturing de Guanajuato (TMMGT) as well as group vice president, Manufacturing Project Innovation Center (MPIC), TMNA, based in Plano.

Jun Umemura, who served as group vice president of Mexico Affairs, TMNA, has announced his retirement after over 50 years with Toyota. Umemura helped the company create its U.S. manufacturing operations in 1984 and helped with the development of Toyota’s first wholly-owned vehicle manufacturing facilities in Kentucky and Ontario, Canada.

At Toyota Motor North America (TMNA), service is more than just a mindset. It is a call to action in times of need. Toyota is focusing its resources on solutions to pressing community needs created by the COVID-19 pandemic. [Photo courtesy of Toyota Motor North America]

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