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Rebuilding Better Together - Leadership Lessons from Toyota South Africa Motor’s Flood Recovery

Andrew Kirby, President and CEO of Toyota SA Motors and Sunday Times 2022 Business Leader of the Year, will talk about leading the recovery of Toyota SA Motors after the devastation suffered from the flooding in KwaZulu-Natal in April 2022.

When the 87-hectare Toyota SA Motors site in Prospecton was submerged in mud, the parent company, Toyota Motor Corporation, acknowledged this as the most extensive damage to any facility in Toyota globally. Kirby and his team had to resuscitate the damaged plant and the disrupted supply chain to ensure the sustainability of 8000 employees and the network of stakeholders who depend on Toyota SA Motors. Contrary to expectations, Andrew and the team restored the plant to full production levels in a remarkable period of four months.

Join us for this forum as Andrew shares the leadership challenges experienced in this crisis and reflects on the personal and organisational lessons learned about resilience and thriving in deeply disruptive times. The discussion will be facilitated by Professor Louise Whittaker, Deputy Dean of the Gordon Institute of Business Science.

About the speaker:

After graduating as a Mechanical Engineer from the University of Cape Town in 1988, Andrew Kirby joined Anglo-America to pursue engineering in the Gold Mining Industry. After gaining his Professional Engineer qualification, he joined BMW South Africa in the Motor Industry in the Service Division. He gained experience in service, parts, and retail operations and valuable insight into the challenges and value of re-engineering and change management projects.

Andrew did postgraduate studies at Harvard Business School and then moved to the USA, working for BMW North America for three years. He returned to South Africa in 2000 and headed up Product Planning, Parts Operations, and Brand Management. In 2005 he joined Toyota South Africa Motors as Senior Vice President for Sales and Marketing, managing the Toyota, Lexus, and Hino brands. At the beginning of 2011, he moved to Japan to take on global responsibilities for managing and leading the Lexus brand.

On his return from Japan in 2013, Andrew took over responsibilities for the Corporate Administration team with offices in Sandton, Johannesburg, and Prospecton in Durban, where the Toyota manufacturing facility is based. During this period, he was responsible for Finance, IT, HR, Corporate Affairs, and Corporate Planning.  In January 2016, Andrew was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, assuming responsibilities for all operations, and then in April 2016, he was appointed as President and CEO.

Andrew is the Chairman of the Toyota South Africa Board (TSA) and Toyota South Africa Motors Board (TSAM).  Andrew also serves as a Director on the Toyota Financial Services South Africa Board (TFS) and Kinto South Africa Board. He served as the President of the National Association of Automobile Manufacturers of South Africa (NAAMSA). He is currently the Vice President of the African Association of Automotive Manufacturers and the Toyota South Africa Education Trust chair.

Date: 7 November 2023
Time: 13h00 – 15h00
Venue: TWIMS Campus
74 Everton Rd, 
Everton/Kloof (Gillitts/Everton Road exit off the M13)
Cost: Free

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