CYPRESS, CA- Carlos (Shozo) Kibata, chairman of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., passed away June 26 following a brief illness. He was 64.
Kibata was a veteran of more than 41 years experience with the Toyo Tires organization, was the chairman of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. and until recently an executive corporate officer of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co., LTD. in Japan.
He joined Toyo Tires in 1969, and following positions of increasing responsibility in Japan, Kibata assumed his first U.S. assignment with the Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. sales department from 1978 to 1986. After returning to Tokyo, he became general manager of the International Overseas Division from 1993 to 1996. He then returned to North America as president of Toyo Tire Canada Inc. from 1996 to 1999.
Kibata took the helm of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. in 1999, as president. In 2008, he established Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas and was its first president. He also was instrumental in forming Toyo Tires' state-of-the-art tire manufacturing plant in White, Ga., in 2004 as the founding president of Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc. He also played an important role in the integration and growth of the Nitto Tire unit within the U.S. Toyo Tires group.
Kibata was also active outside of his official corporate roles, having previously served as president of the Japan Business Association of Southern California.
"He was an inspirational leader, taking Team Toyo to a leadership position in the U.S. market," the company said in a statement. "He grew the Toyo brand market share significantly during his tenure, through the introduction of leading-edge products, the strengthening of customer relationships, and creation of a U.S. manufacturing base."