NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Oct. 14, 2008) – Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) today announced a restructuring of its Americas tire operations effective as of Jan. 1, 2009. Asahiko “Duke” Nishiyama will lead the new unit, which will be named Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). Reporting into this unit will be the company’s Latin American tire operations, the U.S. and Canadian consumer tire businesses and the U.S. and Canadian commercial tire businesses. Nishiyama will continue to report to Mark A. Emkes, Chairman, CEO and President, BSAH. Reporting to Nishiyama under this new structure will be:
- Eduardo Minardi, who will continue as President of the company’s Latin American Tire division.
- Michael K. Gorey, currently Chairman, CEO and President of Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products (BFDP). Under the new structure, Gorey will serve as President, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales division, BATO. Reporting to Gorey will be:
- Michael Martini, President, Original Equipment, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales division; and
- John Baratta, President, Replacement Tire Sales, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales division.
- Saul A. Solomon, currently President, Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions (BBTS). Under the new structure, Solomon will serve as President, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division. Reporting to Solomon will be:
- Kenneth L. Allen, President, Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division;
- Shawn Rasey, President, Off the Road Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division; and
- Scott Gateley, General Manager, Tube Business, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division.
In the new alignment, Solomon will serve concurrently as President, BBTS (his current position), and his existing BBTS reporting relationships will remain in
As a result of the restructuring of the Americas tire business and the reassignment of team members to new positions within BATO, the following additional changes in Bridgestone America assignments were also announced today, effective Jan. 1, 2009:
- Narumi “Nick” Zaitsu, currently Vice Chairman, Bridgestone Americas, who will assume the additional title of Executive Vice President, BATO. Reporting to Zaitsu will be:
- Yasutaka Enoki, who will continue serving in his concurrent positions as Executive Vice President, Product Development Group, BATO, and President, Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology; and
- Steve W. Shelton, Vice President, Supply, Planning and Sourcing, BATO.
- Stephen W. Brooks, President, U.S., Canada and Monterrey Manufacturing group, BATO.
- David C. Laubie, Vice President, Sales Engineering, BATO.
In addition, the following individuals and BATO staff functions will report to Nishiyama:
- Melissa McGuire, Vice President, Legal and General Counsel, U.S. & Canada;
- William Thompson, Controller, U.S. & Canada (formerly Controller, BBTS);
- Linda Baskin, Vice President, Human Resources, U.S. & Canada;
- Dennis George, Vice President, Enterprise Planning, BATO (concurrent, Vice President, Enterprise Planning, Bridgestone Americas); and
- Mike Kane, Vice President, Quality Assurance & Six Sigma, BATO (concurrent, Vice President, Quality Assurance & Six Sigma, Bridgestone Americas).
In addition to Nishiyama, Weaver will report to Emkes, as will Larry Magee, Chairman, CEO and President, BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, LLC; Zaitsu, in his capacity as Vice Chairman, Bridgestone Americas; and each of Bridgestone Americas staff functions, including Finance, Legal and Corporate Compliance, Enterprise Planning, Human Resources, Quality Assurance, Community and Corporate Relations, and the
- Ken Weaver, currently Bridgestone Americas Corporate Controller and concurrent, Vice President, Finance, BFNT, will succeed Gorey as Chairman, CEO and President of BFDP.
- Succeeding Weaver as Bridgestone Americas Corporate Controller will be Tim Walsh, who currently serves as Controller, BFNT.
In discussing the new alignment of the Americas tire business, Emkes said, “This new structure will allow us to provide even greater focus on our overall tire business in the Americas, and it will align us more closely with the regional business model that Bridgestone Corporation is promoting for all of its global tire operations. The structure we are introducing today will also reflect the Bridgestone Group’s desire for global standardization in the way we go to market, providing our international customers a consistent business model that they can rely on regardless of their geographic region.”
Emkes concluded by saying, “Bottom line: this realignment will help us eliminate confusion on a global scale, provide for enhanced synergies, and allow us to be even more responsive to evolving customer needs.”
In a related event, Emkes announced that Christine Karbowiak, Vice President, Community and Corporate Relations, BSAH, will be joining the Bridgestone Americas Board of Directors effective Jan. 1, 2009. She will become the first woman to serve on a Bridgestone Group Board.
Summarizing the changes announced today, Emkes said, “We all know that we as an industry have a great deal of hard work ahead of us in the face of an extremely challenging financial environment. It is my belief that these changes will help Bridgestone Americas enhance its focus on our core business — tires — and assist us in weathering those challenges, allowing us to emerge even stronger whenever the global economy recovers.”
About Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc.:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAH and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, synthetic rubber and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAH family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers.
About Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC:
Nashville, Tenn.-based Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc., whose parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BFNT develops, manufactures and markets Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires. The company is focused on wholesale and original equipment markets, supplying passenger, light truck, commercial vehicle, off road, motorcycle, agricultural and other tires to its customers in North America. In addition, through its Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions unit, retreading customers have access to industry leading research and development, manufacturing, marketing and sales expertise, providing them with a total tire solution.