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Toyota promotes two African-American executives among leadership changes

(March 6, 2015) Automaker Toyota announced a number of executive changes across its North American operations that will diversify it global leadership team, including the promotion of African-American executives to new duties.
 
Christopher P. Reynolds (left), current general counsel and chief legal officer, TMA, and group vice president, corporate secretary, chief environmental officer and chief compliance officer, Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., has been named managing officer and appointed to the newly created position of general counsel and chief legal officer, TMC.  Reynolds becomes the first African-American named to these positions globally. He will maintain offices in Torrance, Calif. and Toyota City, Japan and, eventually, Plano, Texas once Toyota's new headquarters there is completed.  He will report to Shigeki Terashi, senior managing officer, TMC, and Tatsuro Ueda, managing officer, TMC.
 
Sandra Phillips (left), vice president and deputy general counsel, TMS, is named general counsel and chief legal officer, TMNA.  Phillips, the first African-American woman named to this position, will be responsible for legal operations, legal technology and coordinating the representation of Toyota's affiliates in North America.

These appointments, said Toyota, reflect the company's ongoing efforts to diversify its global leadership team and leverage talent from its biggest, most experienced market as it continues to evolve 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.

Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), said: "Bringing together an experienced and diverse team of executives with fresh perspectives, unique regional insights and a global mindset will help us better serve customers around the world.  Our new appointments also put in place a broader base of support for North America CEO Jim Lentz as he continues to build upon the strong momentum he has achieved with dealers and customers in this key market." The new appointments take effect April 1.
 
Before joining Toyota in 2007, Chris Reynolds was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in New York City, where he ran the firm's employment law practice and chaired its firm-wide diversity committee. Earlier, Reynolds served as an assistant United States attorney in New York City, an associate attorney at the law firm of Hughes Hubbard & Reed, and as a law clerk for Judge Damon J. Keith, U.S. Court of Appeals, 6th Circuit.  Reynolds is a member of the American Bar Association and serves on the boards of the Los Angeles Urban League, the Constitutional Rights Foundation, the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and the Lincoln Family Life Center. Raised in Detroit and educated in its public schools, Reynolds earned his bachelor's degree in political science with honors at Kalamazoo College, where he currently serves as a trustee. A Harry S. Truman Scholar and member of Phi Beta Kappa, Reynolds received his law degree from Harvard Law School. 

Since joining TMS in 2012, Sandra Phillips has played a key role in overseeing complex legal matters and building an integrated North American legal services group, Toyota Legal One ("TL1").  Prior to joining Toyota, Phillips was a partner at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius LLP in Houston, Texas, where her practice focused on complex litigation management and strategy.

Earlier, Phillips was senior vice president and associate general counsel, chief litigation counsel at Pfizer Inc., and managing partner of the Houston office of Shook, Hardy & Bacon LLP.  In addition, she is a founding member of the University of Texas Center for Women in Law, and a member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, the International Association of Defense Counsel and the Defense Research Institute (DRI).  She is the first recipient of the DRI Diversity Pioneer Award.  Phillips earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and a law degree, both at the University of Texas at Austin.

In April 2014, Toyota announced it is establishing a single, state-of-the-art headquarters in Plano, Texas for its North American manufacturing, sales and marketing, and corporate operations.  Toyota Motor North America or "TMNA" is the new designation of Toyota's North American operating entity headquartered there.


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