TOKYO (AP) - Toyota has tapped a former executive at U.S. rival General Motors to join its board, the first time in the Japanese automaker's 76-year history it is appointing directors from outside the company.
The appointment of Mark Hogan, effective April 1, underlines efforts at Toyota Motor Corp. (TM) to become more internationally minded, transparent and nimble in regional markets as it recovers from difficult years, including a massive recall fiasco in the U.S.
Under changes announced Wednesday by President Akio Toyoda, Toyota will set up a new division to oversee North American, European and Japanese markets and another for emerging markets.
The world's biggest automaker also promoted four non-Japanese managers to oversee regional businesses, including James Lentz, an American who already leads Toyota Motor Sales in the U.S. He will head the North American region.
In this Aug. 20, 2002 file photo, General Motors Group Vice President Mark T. Hogan, left, speaks as Toyota Motor Corp. President Fujio Cho looks on during a press unveiling of compact sport utility vehicle "Voltz," jointly designed by Toyota and General Motors Corp. in Tokyo. Toyota has tapped a former executive at U.S. rival General Motors to be on its board, the first time in the Japanese automaker's 76-year history it is appointing board members from outside the company. The appointment of Hogan, effective April 1, which was announced at a press conference in Tokyo Wed., March 6, 2013, underlines efforts at Toyota Motor Corp. to grow more international, nimble, transparent and responsive to regional markets as it recovers from difficult years, including the massive recall fiasco in the U.S., to regain its position as the world's top automaker. (AP Photo/Koji Sasahara, File)