John Gamauf, retired president of consumer replacement tires for Bridgestone-Firestone North America, is a 50-year veteran of the tire industry. Starting out with Firestone as a tire buster in the late 60s, he rose through the company’s ranks working in different sales positions for Bridgestone brands until he became president of consumer replacement tires for Bridgestone/Firestone in 2003. During his tenure with there, he was responsible for creating Bridgestone’s Affiliated Dealer Program and helped navigate the company through one of the largest tire recalls in history. Tire dealers know him as “Johnny g” and he is one of the most dynamic, influential and respected individuals in the tire industry.
In this latest episode of AMN Drivetime, Babcox Media CEO Bill Babcox sits down with Johnny g for a wide-ranging conversation that covers everything from navigating turbulent career moments to the one piece of advice he would give his younger self. For Gamauf, the greatest lesson he’s learned during his long and varied career is a personal one, he says.
“It’s my gut feeling that goes back to everything that’s all about business and its relationships. You know, it doesn’t matter whether you’re having relationships at home with your wife and your marriage, with your kids, your family, or with your business associates. The core foundation of doing business is relationships,” he shared.
During the podcast, Bill and Johnny g also talk about:
- 1:44: Career highlights from Johnny g’s 50-year career with Bridgestone-Firestone;
- 5:21: What tire shops were like in the 60s;
- 6:58: Some of the most fascinating “industry firsts” he witnessed during his career;
- 10:13: The inside scoop on the Johnny g & Friends podcast;
- 12:15: The people Johnny g has been able to meet in his five-decade career in the tire business (ever heard of Mario Andretti?);
- 18:11: How Johnny g played a role in a Super Bowl halftime show;
- 25:55: The ever-popular Lightning Round!
AMN Drivetime is sponsored by Litens.