Bridgestone announces executive management changes in Americas, Asia Pacific regions

Tokyo (Jan. 29, 2020) – As Bridgestone Corporation (Bridgestone) continues to focus on its management priority areas of cultivating a global corporate culture, developing talent capable of global management and upgrading its global management structure, the company today announced executive leadership changes in its Americas and Asia Pacific regions.

The following changes reflect the company’s commitment to its global growth agenda and are designed to accelerate the company’s transformation into a global leader in advanced mobility and sustainable solutions for a world in motion. These changes are effective at the end of March 2020:

• TJ Higgins, Vice President and Senior Officer, Global Chief Business Strategic Officer (G-CBSO) of Bridgestone Corporation has concurrently been named Global Chief Digital Strategic Officer (G-CDSO) of Bridgestone Corporation, Vice Chair of the Board, Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) and Chair of the Board, Bridgestone Asia Pacific (BSCAP). The G-CDSO role was previously held by Paolo Ferrari, who was recently named Member of the Board, President, CEO & COO of BSAM, in addition to his roles as Executive Vice President and Executive Officer of Bridgestone Corporation. Higgins, who currently also serves as Member of the Board and Group President, Americas Tire for BSAM, will be based in Nashville. With respect to his G-CBSO and G-CDSO roles, Higgins will report directly to incoming Bridgestone Corporation CEO and Representative Executive Officer Shu Ishibashi while also maintaining additional matrixed dotted-line reporting structures across global SBUs with respect to his other responsibilities.

• Gabriel Asbun, Vice President and Senior Officer of Bridgestone Corporation and Member of the Board, CEO & COO of BSCAP, will succeed Higgins as Member of the Board and Group President of Americas Tire for BSAM. Asbun will be based in Nashville, TN, and report to Paolo Ferrari.

• Yoshikazu Shida, Vice President and Officer of Bridgestone Corporation seconded to BSCAP has been named CEO and COO of BSCAP, succeeding Asbun. He also remains Chairman of Bridgestone (China) Investment Co., Ltd. and Bridgestone Taiwan Co., Ltd. Shida will be based in Singapore and will report to Akihiro Eto, Member of the Board, President, COO and Executive Officer of Bridgestone Corporation.

“As we accelerate our company’s transformation into a global leader in advanced mobility and sustainable solutions, it’s important we create the right organizational structure to drive that change while simultaneously creating leadership capacity to enhance our core business,” said Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Corporation’s Chairman, Global CEO and Representative Executive Officer. As announced in December, Tsuya will transition his duties as CEO and Representative Executive Officer of Bridgestone Corporation to Shuichi Ishibashi, Vice Chair and Representative Executive Officer and G-Chief Solution Officer, also effective following approval at the Board of Directors’ meeting in late March. “Given my pending new role, my successor, Shuichi, and I have been working on these organizational changes collaboratively. With these experienced, transformational leaders in place across our global businesses, we are confident in our ability to deliver results on our journey to Dan Totsu.”

TJ joined BSAM as President, Consumer Integrated Tire Division, U.S. & Canada, in 2014. He was named Vice President and Officer of Bridgestone Corporation in 2017 and served as Chairman of the Board for Bridgestone Europe, Middle East and Africa from 2018 to 2019. He was named Vice President and Senior Officer of Bridgestone Corporation and Group President, Americas Tire for BSAM in August 2019. Prior to joining Bridgestone, TJ served in senior leadership roles across a number of consumer brands, including divisions of Pfizer and Merck. TJ earned his bachelor’s degree from Lehigh University and his MBA from Harvard University.

“As the Chief Global Officer responsible for business and digital strategy, TJ, in partnership with the global executive team, will play a critical role in shaping the company’s future,” said Tsuya. “This expanded role in our Global Head Office acknowledges the dedicated strategic leadership we need to achieve our goals. TJ’s knowledge of our industry and markets paired with his thought leadership in mobility and solutions make him the right candidate for this important role.”

Asbun joined the company in 2012 as President of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations Latin America and was named COO of BSCAP in July 2018. He was named CEO of BSCAP in March 2019 while concurrently serving as COO of BSCAP. Prior to joining Bridgestone, Asbun worked for the Kellogg Company, where he served in a variety of leadership positions for more than 12 years. Prior to his tenure at Kellogg, Asbun spent 10 years in consulting. He earned his bachelor’s degree in Mechanical-Electrical Engineering with a concentration in Industrial Engineering from the Universidad Panamericana in Mexico and his MBA from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He is tri-lingual in Spanish, English and Portuguese.

“Gabriel brought strong leadership, operational excellence and strategic vision for sustained profitable growth to our Asia Pacific businesses during his time there,” said Tsuya. “In cooperation with the leadership team, he has built a strong foundation and transformation roadmap on which they will continue to build. We will now continue to leverage his expertise in the Americas where he will lead our largest global business.”

Yoshikazu Shida joined Bridgestone in 1989. Over the course of his more than 30-year Bridgestone career, he has held various leadership roles of increasing responsibility and scope, including a previous term as Member of the Board, CEO and COO of BSCAP in 2018. He has worked and lived throughout the U.S., Brazil, Australia, Taiwan and Indonesia and has been a Vice President and Officer of Bridgestone Corporation since 2018.

“Shida-san has continued to work very closely with Gabriel and the BSCAP leadership team,” said Tsuya. “With the roadmap now in place, he is fully prepared to execute on our strategy in the region.”

About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.