NASHVILLE, Tenn. Bridgestone Americas plans to begin 2009 with a new name. Mark Emkes, chairman and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. (BSAH), this week announced a plan to rename the company’s operations effective Jan. 1, 2009. In addition, the company announced it will restructure its tire operations.
In making the announcement, Emkes said that the changes will provide Firestone with its own identity as a product and brand, and help to eliminate any confusion with the company’s overall corporate identity.
Corporate name changes to be implemented at the beginning of 2009 include:
– Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. (BSAH), the parent company of the Bridgestone Group’s tire operations in the Americas, will be changed to Bridgestone Americas Inc. (BSAM).
– Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC (BFNT) will be renamed Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC (BATO) (a legal entity), and will be a part of the larger business unit also known as Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, a newly established operating unit.
– BFS Retail & Commercial Operations LLC (BFRC), Bridgestone Americas’ retail tire and automotive service unit and the operator of the well-known Firestone Complete Auto Care and Tires Plus outlets, will be known as Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC (BSRO).
– Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Tire Operations (BFLA) will be known as the Latin American Tire division, BATO.
– Bridgestone Americas’ international subsidiaries will also be renamed to focus on membership in the Bridgestone family of companies, for example, Bridgestone Firestone de México S.A. de C.V. (BFMX) will be known as Bridgestone de México S.A. de C.V. (BSMX) and Bridgestone Firestone Canada Inc. (BFCA) will be renamed Bridgestone Canada Inc. (BSCA).
Bridgestone Americas also announced an exception to this naming convention related to its diversified products businesses. Effective Jan. 1, 2009, BFS Diversified Products, LLC (which does business as Bridgestone Firestone Diversified Products) (BFDP) will be renamed Firestone Diversified Products LLC (FSDP). Since most of that company’s subsidiaries already carry the Firestone name, there will be no further name changes in that organization.
Also effective as of Jan. 1, 2009, 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 Emkes. 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 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:
o Michael Martini, president, Original Equipment, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales division; and
o John Baratta, president, Replacement Tire Sales, U.S. & Canada Consumer Tire Sales division.
Saul 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:
o Kenneth Allen, president, Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division;
o Shawn Rasey, president, Off the Road Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales division; and
o 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, who will assume the additional title of executive vice president, BATO. Reporting to Zaitsu will be:
o 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; and
o Steve Shelton, vice president, Supply, Planning and Sourcing, BATO.
Stephen Brooks, president, U.S., Canada and Monterrey Manufacturing group, BATO.
David 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); and
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, 2009:
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, 2009. She will become the first woman to serve on a Bridgestone Group Board.