BFNT Promotes Handlos to VP Product Development
Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire (BFNT) has announced that Robert W. Handlos, currently Vice President Materials Development, will be promoted to the newly established position of Vice President, Product Development, effective August 1, 2008. In his new capacity, each of the product development groups located at BFNT’s Technical Center in Akron, Ohio will report to Handlos. Additionally, the Akron-based security function will continue to report to him, and Handlos will continue to hold responsibility for the product development facilities located at the site, as well as the company’s ATW race tyre manufacturing plant. Handlos will report to Yasutaka Enoki, who, as previously announced, will become Executive Vice President, BFNT, on August 1.
Asahiko “Duke” Nishiyama, President of BFNT and its parent company, Bridgestone Americas Holding, said, “Bob is extremely deserving of this promotion. He is recognised by his BFNT teammates as a true leader and is well respected by the community. We have all been impressed by his leadership and hard work on the relocation of the Technical Center, a project that he will continue to spearhead in his new capacity.”
BFNT’s Akron Technical Center is responsible for tyre development and research activities for the various Bridgestone Americas companies. Most recently, and in addition to his tyre development responsibilities, Handlos has been charged with leading the team tasked with evaluating options for updating or replacing the nearly 100-year old structure in which the Technical Center’s activities are conducted.
Handlos began his career with The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company, the predecessor to BFNT, in 1984 as a Senior Engineer in the passenger tyre materials development group. Since joining the company, Handlos has held positions of increasing responsibility at the Akron complex, including Section Manager, Compound Development; Division Director, Materials Development; Executive Director, Development; and Division Vice President Development. He was promoted to his present position as Vice President Materials Development in 2005. Handlos holds a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and earned his Masters in Business Administration from Kent State University.