John Baratta, Bridgestone Americas president of consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. & Canada, will retire after 34 years with the company, effective March 1.
Bridgestone has promoted current vice president of consumer replacement tire sales, Erik Seidel, as Baratta’s successor.
Baratta joined the company when it was a Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1983 as a tire sales manager in Charleston, S.C. Baratta climbed the ranks of the Bridgestone consumer tire business through the next two decades, and in 2008, he was named president of consumer replacement for North America.
“John has been an outstanding member of our team, and his contributions to the consumer tire group have been fundamental to the growth and success of Bridgestone Americas,” said TJ Higgins, president, integrated consumer tire division, U.S. & Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “We wish John the very best in retirement and are excited for Erik to take on this role. Erik shares John’s passion for our customers, and he is the right person to build upon the success of John’s leadership.”
Seidel joined Bridgestone in 2013 as vice president of brand marketing for the consumer tire business and led the company’s brand-building efforts, developing product launches such as the DriveGuard tire line. He was promoted to his current position in June 2015, where he worked alongside Baratta. Prior to joining Bridgestone, Seidel worked at Kimberly-Clark Corp. managing brands and P&Ls for VIVA Towels, the Scott brand and Huggies.
“Erik has quickly demonstrated his ability to strengthen relationships, build trust and drive growth,” said Baratta. “I am excited for him to take on this role and have full confidence that his leadership will allow Bridgestone to achieve our vision of becoming an indispensable business partner.”
Seidel has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, as well as an MBA and a master’s degree in manufacturing management from Northwestern University.