Bridgestone Americas President, CEO and COO Gordon Knapp has announced his retirement, effective Jan. 15, 2020. Succeeding Knapp will be Paolo Ferrari, currently CEO and president of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA (Bridgestone EMIA), and chairman of the Bridgestone Americas board.
Bridgestone Corporation has also announced several other executive leadership changes, including:
- Gordon Knapp, vice chair and executive officer of Bridgestone Corporation and President, CEO and COO of Bridgestone Americas, will transition out of his executive roles, effective Jan. 15, 2020. To facilitate a smooth transition, Knapp will serve as a strategic advisor to the company until March 31, 2020, at which time he will retire. He has served as president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas since 2016.
- Paolo Ferrari, currently executive vice president, executive officer and global digital strategic officer of Bridgestone Corporation, and member of the board, CEO and president of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA (Bridgestone EMIA), and chairman of the Bridgestone Americas board, will become president, CEO and COO of Bridgestone Americas, succeeding Knapp, effective Jan. 15, 2020. Masaaki Tsuya, currently the chairman, CEO and representative executive officer of Bridgestone Corporation, will assume the role of chairman of the Bridgestone Americas board.
- Laurent Dartoux, vice president and officer of Bridgestone Corporation and member of the board, chief strategy and marketing officer and COO of Bridgestone EMIA, has been named president and CEO of Bridgestone EMIA effective Jan. 15, 2020, succeeding Ferrari. He has also been promoted to vice president and senior officer of Bridgestone Corporation, effective Jan. 1, 2020.
- Emilio Tiberio, vice president and officer of Bridgestone Corporation and chief technology officer (CTO) of Bridgestone EMIA, has additionally been named COO of Bridgestone EMIA, succeeding Dartoux, effective Jan. 15, 2020.
Knapp joined Bridgestone Americas in 2013 as president, integrated consumer tire, U.S. and Canada. He was promoted to vice president and officer of Bridgestone Corporation and COO of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. in 2014. Prior to joining the company, Knapp spent his career – both in the U.S. and internationally – in the consumer products area. Knapp served as president of Family Care North Atlantic, Consumer Tissue Division for Kimberly-Clark and also held leadership positions in the consumer products businesses for Pfizer, Inc. and for Warner-Lambert, Inc.
“On behalf of Bridgestone Global and more than 143,000 teammates worldwide, I want to express my sincere thanks to Gordon for his leadership and contributions to Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Americas,” Tsuya said. “He has been a key member of the Global Executive Committee of Bridgestone Corporation, and Bridgestone Americas has undergone significant change and growth while delivering value to our shareholders over the past four years under his leadership. I know he will be missed.”
Paolo Ferrari began his executive career at luxury brand Zegna in New York in 1994, gaining experience in sales, marketing and retail. Over the following years, he built his expertise in general management, technology and finance and M&A at companies such as Credit Suisse First Boston in London and Telecom Italia (TIM) Group in Italy, Germany and France, where he also managed assets in Latin America and Southeast Asia. Ferrari’s experience in automotive, tires and mobility began in 2012, when he was appointed chairman and CEO of Pirelli Tire North America and later CEO of Pirelli Latin America. He joined Bridgestone in 2016 and has served in his current role as CEO of Bridgestone EMEA since 2016. Having lived and worked in three continents over the last 25 years, Ferrari is fluent in Italian, English and French.
“Paolo is a true global executive,” said Tsuya. “He brings with him extensive knowledge of the Americas markets and many different industries and is the right leader to build on the foundations Gordon has created to guide Bridgestone Americas into the next decade.”
Laurent Dartoux began his career in brand management and marketing with Proctor & Gamble France. He served in leadership positions for global brands such as Kodak and Hertz before joining Bridgestone EMEA as senior vice president of sales and marketing in 2014. He was promoted to chief strategy and marketing officer (CSMO) of Bridgestone EMEA in 2017. As CSMO, Dartoux played a pivotal role in Bridgestone EMEA’s acquisition of TomTom Telematics (now Webfleet Solutions). In 2019, he assumed the position of chief operating officer of Bridgestone EMEA in concurrence with his CSMO role.
Emilio Tiberio joined Bridgestone in 1999. After 10 years in technical roles, he was named head of original equipment (OE) consumer tire development. Following time in a sales role, Tiberio returned to Bridgestone EMEA’s Research & Development Centre as Director of consumer tire development in 2013. After four years, Tiberio took on the role of vice president of research and development for Bridgestone in EMEA, where he became responsible for pushing innovation to be in line with the evolving market, the company says. In 2019, he was appointed chief technology officer for Bridgestone EMEA.
“As Bridgestone transforms to become a global leader in advanced mobility, the work we are doing in the EMEA region is critical,” said Tsuya. “Laurent and Emilio have played a large role in our success to date, and I am confident they have the expertise and leadership capability to lead the region through sustained growth and change.”