Toyota’s Julie Hamp submits to peer pressure, fades to black

Weeks later

Spot the Toyotas

A month ago, Toyota made headlines by inviting a bunch of foreigners into a board that used to resemble an upscale Ginza hostess club, to the extent that both usually don’t allow gaijin. At Toyota, at least, this has changed. Toyota put the reins of its public relations machine into the hands of a foreigner, and a woman: GM-bred Julie Hamp. When Ms. Hamp met the press last April, she stood out even more. She was the only one not to wear a black suit, setting off discussions on how long that would last. It didn’t.

A gaijin ninja, and the corporate samurai

A month ago …

Japanese business-men and women dress for success as people elsewhere dress for a funeral. Wear black, and you blend in, wearing bright is considered not so smart, career-wise. A month into the new job, Julie Hamp decided to blend in. At the annual results conference last Friday, Ms Hamp appeared in the same garb as everybody else. In black.

Julie Hamp -2- Picture courtesy Bertel Schmitt

Weeks later

Well, if the company is as much in the black as Toyota, one might as well dress for the occasion.