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Toyota’s Julie Hamp Resigns Following Legal Troubles in Japan

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 7/1/2015 Erick Ayapana

Toyota announced today that its chief communications officer and first female senior executive, Julie Hamp, has resigned from her position. Hamp remains in detainment by Japanese police officials who suspect her of illegally importing painkillers from the U.S. to Japan.

Hamp’s ordeal began early June, just two months after her promotion and relocation to Japan. That’s when customs officials at Tokyo’s Narita airport found oxycodone pills in a package shipped to Hamp from the U.S. She was later arrested and has been in detainment since, but has yet to receive any criminal charges. According to Automotive News, Japanese police can keep Hamp under detention for up to 20 days after her arrest, a time period that ends July 8.

Toyota Global Communications Chief Julie Hamp© Provided by MotorTrend Toyota Global Communications Chief Julie Hamp

Under Japanese law, oxycodone requires a prescription and proper documentation. Hamp claims she needed the drugs for knee pain, though police suspect she attempted to hide the pills, which were sent in a package labeled “necklaces.” Reports also suggest the package contained over 50 pills.

Toyota has supported Hamp through her ordeal and had hoped her promotion would be the catalyst to diversifying its male-dominated executive lineup.

In a statement, the automaker says it has accepted her resignation “after considering the concerns and inconvenience that recent events have caused our stakeholders.” Prior to her promotion, Hamp was the head of communications for Toyota Motor North America.

Source: Toyota, Automotive News (Subscription required)

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