Toyota brings back ex-executive Julie Hamp as media adviser to chairman Akio Toyoda

TOKYO — julie hampthe global communications executive who broke the glass ceiling in Toyota Motor Corporation.. only to be arrested in Japan and sent to the US, he is back at the world’s largest automaker, this time as a special media adviser to President Akio Toyoda.

Hamp returned to Toyota Motor Corp. effective June 20, Toyota North America said in an internal announcement seen by Automotive News. He will support Yumi Otsuka, chief sustainability officer, and report directly to director of communications Jun Nagata and Chris Reynolds, executive vice president of corporate resources for Toyota Motor North America.

She will also be a “senior media advisor” to the company’s global head, Toyoda.

“In this role, Julie will work with the TMC President’s Office to develop messaging and communications strategies across all forms of media, including TMC-owned media, to help achieve business goals,” Toyoda said in the corporate notice. of June 21.

It was not immediately clear if Hamp will be based in the US, Japan or elsewhere.

Toyoda made a splash in April 2015 by appointing Hamp as the first female senior executive of the Japanese giant, American no less, to oversee global communications from Toyota City. It was part of a major diversification push to inject a new perspective into the company at a time when Toyoda saw a need to better engage with foreign markets amid globalization.

But his tenure was cut short just a few months later, with his explosive arrest on June 18 for alleged violations of Japan’s drug laws. The shocking arrest of him at the Tokyo hotel where he was still staying until he settled sent shock waves through Japan’s international business community.

Toyoda, who invited Hamp to Japan as the company’s first director of communications, defended her at an emergency news conference the next day, saying, “In addition to being a close friend of mine, Julie Hamp is an invaluable member of the management team.” Toyota”.

While in jail, he resigned from the company.

On July 8, after a 20-day lockdown, Hamp He was released without being formally charged with any crime and returned to the US. At the time, Japanese media reported that prosecutors planned to release her without charge, saying they found little criminal intent in the case, in which a family member allegedly he had mailed her oxycodone pills to ease her knee pain.

Like the arrest of former Nissan chairman Carlos Ghosn years later, Hamp’s case shocked the auto industry and shed light on some of the quirks of Japanese-style law and order.

Hamp began his automotive career giving factory tours at General Motors’ now-defunct Buick City plant in Flint, Michigan, and spent 20 years at GM. She later became the chief public relations executive for PepsiCo Inc. before joining Toyota on its North American team in June 2012.

Back in the US after his arrest in Japan, Hamp quickly rebuilt his career.

She took on advisory roles at Finsbury and Hawksbill Group, and in 2019 was appointed President of Motus Onethe fleet management company.

Japan has strict drug laws that are often at odds with those in the US. It’s even illegal to bring some common over-the-counter medications into the US, such as certain allergy medications.

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