Toyota Player Roster

By Baselinemag  |  Posted 2006-09-05 Print this article Print

Katsuaki Watanabe, Toyota Motor's president, is focused on increasing production to overtake General Motors. And making sure that Toyota does not tarnish its quality record.

Millie Marshall
VP, Information Systems, Toyota Manufacturing North America
The Kentucky native is responsible for the information systems that support all of Toyota's engineering and manufacturing operations in North America. Toyota's aim with information technology, she says, is to support and enable the business processes that are put in place by following the Toyota Production System (TPS), a set of principles and strategies that guide the company.

Katsuaki Watanabe
President, Toyota Motor
Responsible for the day-to-day operations of the auto manufacturer. Watanabe's concern these days is how to increase production to overtake General Motors, while at the same time maintaining Toyota's stellar quality record. The company had to issue recalls for more than a million vehicles in July alone. Toyota believes the guidelines and principles behind TPS, which include stopping production to fix a defect as soon as one is discovered, are its best strategy to regain consumer confidence.

Gary Convis
Chairman, Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky
A former Ford and GM executive, Convis joined a joint venture between Toyota and GM in California, New United Motor Manufacturing Inc. (NUMMI), in 1984; this became the first North American plant operating under TPS. He gradually moved up through the ranks and in 2001 became the first North American to head a Toyota manufacturing plant—the Georgetown, Ky., facility.

Yoshikazu Amano
CIO, Toyota Motor
Amano oversees Toyota's global information technology efforts. He says he's able to bring to the boardroom all of the data from the company's global operations. His responsibility is to use that data to help executives understand and prioritize companywide issues.

Barbra Cooper
VP and CIO, Toyota Motor Sales
Cooper is Marshall's counterpoint on the sales end of Toyota's U.S. operations. She joined Toyota in 1996 as vice president of information systems, following similar roles at MicroAge and American Express. One of her biggest accomplishments has been to overhaul an antiquated dealership communications system with a Web portal.


Kelly Thomas
Senior VP, Automotive, i2 Technologies
Thomas was involved in the early negotiations with Toyota to use i2's Demand Planner software to forecast the demand for parts and accessories from dealerships. Thomas says getting the company's software into Toyota was a long, challenging process, but now that it is in, i2 aims to move more of Toyota's operations onto its platform and away from proprietary systems.

Ted Williams
CEO, Activplant
The former Computer Associates executive recently took over the reins of the London, Ontario, company, which provides software to monitor a wide range of factory robots, machines and equipment. Like most Toyota suppliers, Williams says Activplant started off small, getting its systems into one Toyota plant, and gradually expanded to plants in the U.S., Europe and Australia.

John Fikany
General Manager, Microsoft Automotive
Fikany has been the point man between Microsoft and Toyota on several key projects, including its dealership portal, and is spearheading a new virtual vehicle design platform from Dassault Systemes and Microsoft being deployed at Toyota.


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