Toyota’s very new female top manager resigns amid drug scandal image
Japan’s Toyota Motor Corp., the largest company in the country and the biggest automaker in the world, announced Wednesday its first female senior manager has decided to resign her duties after she was arrested last month on suspicion of illegal import of prescription drugs.
Julie Hamp, the automaker’s first ever female managing officer, was arrested by Tokyo police shortly after she relocated to Japan to take over her new assignment as the company’s chief communications officer. She was suspected of illegally bringing into the country the painkiller oxycodone. She is a US citizen and she will be leaving Toyota only a month or so into her new job, with her naming being part of the larger strategy by president Akio Toyoda to diversify further the male-dominated, mostly Japanese executive line-up. Toyota said it allowed Hamp to resign after “considering the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders”. Senior Managing Officer Shigeru Hayakawa has been named as her successor until a proper replacement can be found.
Hamp was taken into custody on June 18 following the discovery by customs officials of tablets of oxycodone in a parcel shipped to her from the United States – with Hamp defending herself by saying she had no knowledge the substance was illegal in Japan. She has not been charged yet and according to Japanese law can remain under detention for up to 20 days after her arrest – meaning until July 8.