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Business

Toyota management gets more diverse

Japanese carmaker Toyota has named the first foreign vice president in its 80-year history. The move is part of a wider diversity push as the company aims to profit more from people with different backgrounds.

Toyota announced Wednesday it would appoint a foreigner to the post of executive vice president and promote a woman into its top ranks - both firsts for the Japanese carmaker in its nearly 80-year history.

Didier Leroy, a 57-year-old Frenchman who formerly worked for Renault, is to become an executive vice president as of April 1, while American Julie Hamp, 55, will be the carmaker's first female managing officer.

Toyota said the moves were part of a wider shuffle aimed at promoting diversity among top managers.

From Abenomics to Womenomics

"By appointing talented people from affiliates outside Japan to executive positions, Toyota aims to foster innovation by enabling people from many different backgrounds to contribute and provide input," the company said in a statement.

Watch video 04:23

More women in the boardroom

The auto maker's policy dovetails with recommendations from the conservative administration of Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who has pledged to strengthen corporate governance, including making firms take on more independent directors and

lure more women into the workforce

.

Abe's so-called "Womenomics" initiative has widely been seen as a way to boost Japan's economy against the background of a rapidly ageing population straining the public purse.

hg/bk (AFP, dpa)

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