Jim Lentz is a retired automobile executive. His 42- year auto industry career began in 1978 at The Ford Motor company.
Most recently, Jim Lentz is the former chief executive officer of Toyota Motor North America and an operating officer of the parent company Toyota Motor Corporation located in Japan. During his 38-year career at Toyota, Lentz oversaw all business for Toyota’s North American region including: research and development, manufacturing, sales, marketing, product support, strategic planning, government relations and corporate resources. Lentz’s vision of uniting all of Toyota’s affiliates across the United States culminated in moving the company’s regional headquarters to Plano, Texas in 2017.
Lentz led and contributed to a number of key milestones in Toyota’s history, including: the launch of the Scion brand, recognition of Toyota and Lexus brands as leaders in quality and customer experience, and successfully navigating the company through significant challenges such as the unintended acceleration crisis, the great earthquake and tsunami in Japan and one of the worst recessions in U.S. history.
Lentz served as the chairman for Global Automakers and the Alliance of Automobile Manufactures. He is currently a board member of RunBuggy and The Vaquero Club. He also serves as an executive advisor for: the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, University of Denver Daniels School of Bisiness, Abdul Latif Jameel Company Ltd and the Dallas stars NHL hockey team. Lentz is appointed to the board of directors for the Texas Economic Development Corporation by Texas Governor Greg Abbott. He was named “Marketer of the year” by Advertising Age in 2006, an Automotive News “All Star” in 2007 and 2017 and honored as “Industry Leader of the Year” in 2014 by the Automotive Hall of Fame.
Lentz earned a bachelor’s degree in marketing and economics and an M.B.A – Finance from the University of Denver.