TBC Corp. has named Sam Kato as the company’s new president and CEO. Kato, who served as TBC’s chief administrative officer for the past two years, replaces Laurent Bourrut, who is retiring after completing his assignment to position the company for strategic growth amid the evolution of the tire industry. Bourrut will remain an executive adviser to Kato and TBC.
TBC Board of Directors member Scott Clark, said, “We are grateful for Laurent’s leadership and vision during his tenure at TBC. We wish him well in his retirement and believe that the foundation he established for the company is in fact a launch pad for the future of TBC. Sam Kato has been helping steer TBC throughout this period, and we look forward to working with him to deliver our strategic objectives.”
Kato is a veteran of global automotive businesses for more than 30 years. He served as a director of the board of TBC Corp. from 2015 until 2018, when he was leading Sumitomo Corporation of Americas transportation businesses. Kato was an instrumental part of the Sumitomo leadership team that formed a strategic 50/50 joint venture with Michelin North America Inc., in 2018 to create the current TBC Corp. As TBC’s first chief administrative officer, Kato maintained responsibility for legal and compliance, human resources, IT, digital, corporate strategy and communications.
His appointment by the TBC Board of Directors to president and chief executive follows a strategic plan developed in collaboration with Bourrut.
Kato said, “I am forever grateful for the time I had working alongside Laurent. We wish him happiness in his well-deserved retirement. I know he will be proud of all TBC will accomplish, as we execute our vision and evolve and transform the company to realize our purpose – to keep our associates, partners, customers moving on the road ahead. Laurent and I believe that this company can be the leader in every segment it serves.”
Bourrut commented, “The entire TBC team has worked hard to position the company for sustainable growth. I am humbled to have been part of developing the vision, and I could not be more pleased that Sam will lead the team forward in implementing our strategic plan. The road ahead is prosperous for TBC.”
Prior to his appointment as president and CEO of TBC, Bourrut worked at Michelin for nearly 14 years in various roles of increasing responsibility culminating as executive vice president in charge of the worldwide road transport and distribution business lines, as well as operations of the European Region. He also served as a member on the Groupe Executive Committee.