Tracey Doi, 44
Group Vice President and CFO, Toyota Motor Company
Education: B.A., business economics, UCLA
First automotive job: Vice president and corporate controller for Toyota in 2000
Biggest mistake and what you learned: "I have learned that we can apply kaizen within the office environment and reap benefits. But earlier on, I jumped too early on systems solutions that I thought would fix the problems, rather than looking at the processes and root causes."
- 1999-2000 Director of finance, AT&T Wireless
- 1997-99 Corporate controller, L.A. Cellular
Proudest achievement: "I'm proud that Toyota is concentrating on developing a finance group for the future. Toyota's long-term profitable growth is a big challenge, so we want to be sure we have the skill set to finance those efforts. That means training and mentoring programs and looking at areas of personnel development."
Current challenge: "It's all about people, processes and systems. The skill sets and engagement have to be there. On the strategy side, finance can't add value unless we understand the backdrop."
What about the auto industry surprised you: "The product life cycle is much longer than where I came from. I was with AT&T Wireless, and before that I was in apparel, which has a six-week life cycle. In the auto industry, retention, product planning, launch and execution is longer, so it gives the opportunity to do it extremely well. But it also is a challenge to make tweaks."
What women need to know for success in the auto industry: "Find your passion, and stay true to yourself. Enjoy what you do. Find a place where your belief system fits in. Make sure you are there for your kids' development, and stay challenged in your professional career."
Job to which you aspire: "I have so much more to learn in what I am currently doing. With Toyota's growth, I am going to have more depth and breadth in my current role. I see continued challenge in my current role, and I'm fine with that. Longer-term, I enjoy work with nonprofits, and I can dabble there due to Toyota's involvement in the community."
What you do to relax: "Enjoy time with my husband and kids, reading, yoga, volunteering for two charitable organizations."