Toyota CMO promoted to lead Lexus Australia

Toyota Australia veteran, John Pappas, makes his next step up, switching the chief marketing officer role for a chief executive's position

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia chief marketing officer, John Pappas, has taken his next step up at the automotive giant, becoming the new chief executive officer of Lexus Australia.

Pappas has spent the last 18 months as CMO and was previously GM of national sales and vehicle logistics for three-and-a-half years. In all, he’s been with Toyota for more than 24 years, joining with a degree in mechanical engineering and working his way up from sales, engineering, logistics and supply chain management to regional general manager, national sales then marketing. During this time, Pappas also spent two years at the company’s Asia-Pacific headquarters in Singapore.

Pappas takes up the CEO of Lexus Australia reins from January 2022 and replaces Scott Thompson, another Toyota veteran, who has been in the post for the last four years and has worked locally and internally. Thompson is now joining Kinto Europe as VP of operations, business development and technology and will also hold the joint role of VP mobility for Toyota Motor Europe.

In a statement, Lexus Australia highlighted how Pappas has applied his industry insights, business acumen and strategic thinking to leadership of the sales and then the marketing divisions of Toyota Australia over the last five years. Lexus is a wholly owned Toyota brand but operates independently of the bigger group.

Toyota Motor Corporation Australia president and CEO, Matthew Callachor, also noted Thompson's four years at the helm of Lexus Australia as being driven by an “unrelenting focus” on the atotal ownership experience.

“Scott's passion for Lexus to have a deep understanding of the needs and lifestyles of our customers has resulted in the introduction of our top-tier owner-benefits program, Lexus Encore Platinum,” Callachor said.

In stepping into the role, Pappas said he was excited about the opportunity to build on such strong momentum for Lexus.

“This is supported by stunning new models including our first all-electric vehicle, UX 300e, the upcoming all-new NX range and the next-generation flagship LX SUV,” he said.

Pappas’ CMO posting was part of an executive reshuffle orchestrated in July 2020. He replaced former marketing chief and fellow company veteran, Wayne Gabriel, who switched across to general manager after five years as its marketing leader.

CMO has requested comment from Toyota on its plans for the marketing leadership position following Pappas' promotion.

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