THE BEATINGS WILL CONTINUE UNTIL MORALE IMPROVES
Julie Hamp, Toyota's most senior female executive, has resigned
following her arrest in Japan on suspicion of drug law violations,
the automaker said Wednesday.
Hamp tendered her resignation through her attorneys on Tuesday,
and Toyota Motor Corp. accepted it because of "the concerns and
inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders,"
the company said.
Hamp, a 55-year-old American who was Toyota's newly appointed head
of public relations, was arrested on June 18 on suspicion of
importing oxycodone, a narcotic pain killer, into Japan. The drug is
tightly controlled in the country. The hidden stash was 57 pills, and still no prescription has been introduced as evidence in the mainstream news.
Toyota declined to disclose other details, noting the
investigation was ongoing.
Hamp, who previously worked for Toyota's U.S. operations, remains
in custody and has not been available for comment. Police have said
she denied she tried to bring in an illegal drug.
She has not been formally charged. Japanese authorities can detain
suspects without charge for up to 23 days. It is unclear when she
might be released.
Police raided Toyota's headquarters in Toyota City in central
Japan and its offices in Tokyo and Nagoya five days after her arrest.
Her appointment in April had been highlighted by Toyota as a step
toward promoting diversity.
Toyota reiterated Wednesday that it remains committed to
diversity. But it acknowledged in a statement that it still needs to
become "a truly global company," noting that Hamp's
appointment had been a "big step" for the company.
Toyota President Akio Toyoda has said the company should have
helped Hamp more in settling into her job in Japan. He also has said
he believes Hamp did not intend to break the law.
Her arrest came as she was moving her things from the U.S., and
police came to her Tokyo hotel after finding the drug in a package
that was mailed to her. Japanese media said the drugs were hidden in
a package containing jewelry.
Although Japanese Toyota officials have been posted abroad, Hamp
was the first senior foreign Toyota executive to be fully stationed
Foreigners have sometimes been detained in Japan for mailing or
bringing in medicines they used at home. Such drugs may be banned in
Japan or require special approval.
Before joining Toyota in 2012, Hamp worked for PepsiCo Inc. and
General Motors Co.
She oversaw marketing and communications for the Toyota, Lexus and
Scion brands in the U.S. before her latest promotion.
(Story source - Yuri Kageyama, AP)