The automaker said the changes were necessary "in order to meet
our future business needs, and support our dealers and guests more
There likely will be no net reduction in employees, said Jack
Hollis, VP-marketing for the Toyota division.
In fact, the company's marketing ranks will likely grow in the
near future. But because the operating structure of the department
is changing, some current employees might not have skill sets that
match the new organization.
The new marketing department will now have vertical teams
organized by product, rather than by discipline, Mr. Hollis
"My desire was to have more of a brand focus on every vehicle,
where every product team was in charge, from strategy and launch,
through life cycle to minor changes," Mr. Hollis said in an
Under the new organization, each product -- Camry, Tundra,
Highlander and others -- will have representatives for branding,
product training, social media, digital marketing, product
marketing and marketing communications, Mr. Hollis said.
The new organization is expected to be in place by May 1. It
affects only the Toyota brand; Lexus and Scion are not involved in
the change, Mr. Hollis said.
"We are building a more flexible and dynamic structure," Hollis
said. "We're going to have a quicker ability to take a priority and
back it up with action."
Late last year, the automaker announced it would be
aligning its disparate multicultural marketing agencies into a
new team dubbed "Total Toyota" or T2.
Mr. Hollis said some marketing functions -- incentives,
motorsports and engagement marketing -- will remain autonomous.
"We looked at all of our marketing functions and which ones are
prioritized, based on the competitive nature of the industry. We
looked at how to make ourselves more useful from an efficiency
standpoint," Hollis said. "We want to realign for today's market,
with more emphasis on analytics and big data use. We are spending
more time on digital, social and mobile. We need to focus more on
the elements our guests find important."
As a result of the changes, affected marketing employees have
- Apply for one of the new marketing positions.
- Apply for a job elsewhere within Toyota Motor Sales or Toyota
- Apply for a voluntary separation agreement.
Toyota declined to disclose details of the voluntary separation
agreement but said it is "a generous package."
"I don't expect many to take it, but because we are affecting 80
jobs, we wanted to give people a chance to reevaluate their
career," Mr. Hollis said. "I wanted to make it available to
everyone whose jobs are being affected. Most of them are going to
have skill sets that fill the new reporting structure."
--Mark Rechtin is a reporter for Automotive News