Bridgestone Renames, Restructures Americas Operations - Tire Review Magazine

Bridgestone Renames, Restructures Americas Operations

Effective Jan. 1, 2009, Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. will rename and restructure the company’s operations, according to Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO.

“We will be renaming our companies in a way that will clearly define Bridgestone Americas and its subsidiaries as members of the global Bridgestone Group,” Emkes said. “Through this effort we will provide Firestone with its own identity as a historic product and service brand, and we will take a long step forward toward eliminating confusion as to our overall corporate identity.”

An extensive list of corporate name changes, restructuring and promotions will be implemented at the beginning of 2009.

Name Changes
Bridgestone Americas Holding, the parent company of the Bridgestone Corp.’s tire operations in the Americas, will be changed to Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSAM).

Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire will be renamed Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO), a newly established operating unit. Asahiko “Duke” Nishiyama will lead the new unit. Nishiyama will continue to report to Emkes.
BFS Retail & Commercial Operations, Bridgestone Americas’ retail tire and automotive service unit, will be known as Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO).

Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Tire Operations will be known as the Latin American Tire division of BATO.
Bridgestone Americas’ international subsidiaries will also be renamed to focus on the Bridgestone name: Bridgestone/Firestone de MÉxico, S.A. de C.V. will be known as Bridgestone de MÉxico, S.A. de C.V. (BSMX) and Bridgestone/Firestone Canada Inc. will be renamed Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA).

Also on Jan. 1, Bridgestone/Firestone Diversified Products will be renamed Firestone Diversified Products (FSDP). Since most of that company’s subsidiaries already carry the Firestone name, there will be no further name changes in that organization, the company said.

The company’s Latin American, U.S. and Canadian tire businesses will all report to the newly-formed Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. 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 Gorey, currently head of the diversified product company, was named president of U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales Division of BATO. Reporting to Gorey will be:

– Michael Martini, president of OE for U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales Division

– John Baratta, president of replacement tire sales for U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales Division.

• Saul Solomon, currently president of Bridgestone Bandag Tire Solutions, will now be president of BATO’s U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division. Reporting to Solomon will be:

– Kenneth Allen, president of agricultural tire for U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division

– Shawn Rasey, president of OTR for U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division

– Scott Gateley, general manager of tube business for U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales Division.

In the new alignment, Solomon will serve concurrently as president of BBTS (his current position), and his existing BBTS reporting relationships will remain in place.

Narumi “Nick” Zaitsu, currently vice chairman of Bridgestone Americas, will assume the additional title of executive vice president of BATO. Reporting to Zaitsu will be:

• Yasutaka Enoki, who will continue serving in his concurrent positions as executive vice president of product development group for BATO, and president of Bridgestone Americas Center for Research and Technology; and

• Steve Shelton, vice president of supply, planning and sourcing for BATO

• Stephen Brooks, president of BATO’s U.S., Canada and Monterrey manufacturing group, BATO

• David Laubie, BATO vice president of sales engineering

In addition, the following individuals and BATO staff functions will report to Nishiyama:

• Melissa McGuire, vice president of legal and general counsel, U.S. & Canada

• William Thompson, controller, U.S. & Canada (formerly controller, BBTS)

• Linda Baskin, vice president of human resources, U.S. & Canada
• Dennis George, vice president of enterprise planning, BATO (concurrent with vice president of enterprise planning, Bridgestone Americas)

• Mike Kane, vice president of quality assurance and Six Sigma, BATO (concurrent with vice president of quality assurance and Six Sigma, Bridgestone Americas)

Additional changes in Bridgestone America assignments were also announced:

• Ken Weaver, currently Bridgestone Americas corporate controller and concurrent vice president of finance for BFNAT, 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 for BFNAT.

In addition to Nishiyama, Weaver will report to Emkes, as will Larry Magee, chairman, CEO and president of BFS Retail & Commercial Operations; Zaitsu, in his capacity as vice chairman of 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 controller’s office.
“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,” Emkes said.
He also announced that Christine Karbowiak, vice president of community and corporate relations for Bridgestone Americas, will be joining the Bridgestone Americas board of directors effective Jan. 1. She will become the first woman to serve on a Bridgestone Corp. board.
Two promotions at BBTS were also announced: Doyle Bradford, director of strategic channels, was promoted to vice president of sales, effective immediately; and Tim Chen, vice president of innovation, will become vice president of marketing, effective Nov. 1.

BBTS staff that reported to Bradford in his former position as will continue to report to Bradford, who will remain located in Nashville. He replaces Art Campagnoni. Bradford and Chen will report to Kurt Danielson, vice president of sales and marketing for BBTS, when Danielson assumes that role on Nov. 1.
Also, Troy Geuther will take on the role of controller for BBTS, effective Jan. 1. (Tire Review/Akron) 

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