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Bridgestone Americas Restructures Tire Operations

October 16, 2008

NASHVILLE – Bridgestone Americas Holding, Inc. (BSAH) has restructured its American tire operations, effective Jan. 1. 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.
  • 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.
  • 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 place.

Narumi "Nick" Zaitsu, currently vice chairman, Bridgestone Americas, 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.
  • 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).
  • Mike Kane, vice president, Quality Assurance & Six Sigma, BATO (concurrent, vice president, Quality Assurance & Six Sigma, Bridgestone Americas).

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, effective Jan. 1:

  • 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 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 controller's office.

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. She will become the first woman to serve on a Bridgestone Group Board.  

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