Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Fujio Cho

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Fujio Chō (born February 2, 1937) is the honorary chairman of Toyota Motor Corporation. He was previously the President of Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky (TMMK). He is only the second “outsider” to lead Toyota since the founding Toyoda family members stepped aside in 1995.

He is famously quoted for simplifying the principles of the Toyota Production System as “Go see, ask why, show respect

He joined Toyota in 1960, and spent his early years at Toyota on the production line, under the supervision and tutelage of Taiichi Ohno.  He was promoted through the ranks of the Production Control Division. In 1987, he was chosen to play a role in setting up Toyota’s first wholly-owned production facility in North America, TMMK.

In 1988, he was the TMMK president from 1988-1994.  Toyota’s success in becoming a respected local corporate citizen helped him receive an honorary doctorate in engineering from the University of Kentucky in 2002.

He also helped direct the creation of The Toyota Way in 2001, which gathered together the management philosophy and values that had been passed on as implicit knowledge within Toyota, and made them available in an easy-to-understand systematic and visual manner.

He returned to Japan in 1994, where he continued to serve as an executive leader, including executive vice president. In 1999, he became the President of the Toyota Motor Corporation, and was named Chairman of the Toyota Motor Corporation in 2006. 

He has been a strong advocate of environmentally-friendly automotive technology, such as the hybrid-electric Prius.

He is an Honorary Fellow of the Academy of International Business, and was named the recipient of the 2011 AIB Fellows International Executive of the Year Award.

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