Bridgestone announces US promotions
Bridgestone Americas has announced two senior promotions within its operations, effective immediately. Jim Pridgen, previously plant manager at the Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) factory in Wilson, North Carolina, has been named president of Firestone Fibers & Textiles Company, LLC (FSFT). In this new role Pridgen will be based at FSFT’s headquarters in Kings Mountain, North Carolina. Gary Williamson, formerly operations manager at the BATO facility in Aiken County, South Carolina, has been promoted to the position of plant manager at the Wilson facility. Bridgestone Americas will announce Williamson’s successor as operations manager at a later date.
“Jim has been an inspirational leader of the Wilson team and community as well as a long-time member of the Bridgestone Americas family,” said Barry Owens, vice-president, Manufacturing, BATO. “With more than 35 years of experience, Jim is bringing his commitment and results-oriented approach to his new role as President of Firestone Fibers & Textiles, and we wish him the best. We’re also looking forward to welcoming Gary to the Wilson team.”
Terry Reedy, vice-president, Procurement, Bridgestone Americas, FSFT’s parent company, said, “We’re pleased that Jim, whose North Carolina roots go very deep, has taken on this new challenge and will continue his work with the state’s elected officials and government agencies. We look forward to having him support Gary as he establishes his relationships within the Wilson community.”
Bridgestone says that Williamson’s 31 years of experience in a variety of tyre manufacturing operations – the last five in Aiken County – ideally position him to take on his new role as Plant Manager of the Wilson facility. “While we know Gary will be missed in Aiken County, we look forward to welcoming him to the Wilson team,” Owens said. “He brings a unique blend of both technical and leadership abilities that will be instrumental in addressing the complex challenges associated with the Wilson operation and recent capital investments.”
After joining the Wilson plant in 1974 as a junior accountant, Pridgen held positions of increasing responsibility, including cost accountant; auditor; purchasing manager; materials manager; section manager; and stock prep and area production manager. In 2000 he was promoted to plant manager of the company’s Oklahoma City site and in 2004 assumed his most recent role as the Wilson plant manager. Williamson joined The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1980 at its Oklahoma City plant, and since that time has held a variety of manufacturing positions, including buyer; senior buyer; physical distribution manager; area business manager; calendar and receiving section manager; project manager; final inspection section manager; and production section manager. In 2006, he transferred to the Aiken County plant as group leader and in 2009 assumed his most recent role as operations manager at that facility.