Management changes at Bridgestone Americas

In the US, Bridgestone is bidding farewell to one of its top managers and welcoming another on board. After a total of 16 years in the ‘rubber city’ of Akron, Ohio, Bridgestone Americas’ chief technology officer Hideo Hara is returning to Bridgestone Japan to assume the role of Bridgestone fellow. And within the tyre maker’s agricultural business, Tony M. Orlando has been appointed to lead operations.

Hideo Hara, who is known to many in the US as Hank, began his third and current tour of duty stateside in 2010, and as chief technology officer worked closely with all of Bridgestone Americas’ research and technology operations, the majority of which are located in Akron. His prior US-based positions include as engineering manager for Bridgestone Americas, a role that began in 1992 and lasted six years, and a five-year tenure from 2001 as vice-president of technology planning. In his new role as a Bridgestone fellow, which takes effect 24 March, Hara will serve as an advisor to the company and work with various communications functions to represent Bridgestone across key markets.

“Hank’s energy, commitment and infectious good humour, along with his knowledge, creativity and innovative approach to technology and product development, have been an extraordinary asset to BSA,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president, Bridgestone Americas. “While we will miss his day-to-day presence here, we are excited for him as he embarks on this new career path.”

Following Hara’s return to Japan, the Bridgestone Americas Center for Research & Technology and the Guayule Rubber Projects in Arizona (the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center and the Bridgestone Agro Operations) will report to Steve Shelton, Bridgestone Americas’ senior vice-president technology, manufacturing and procurement. Reporting to Shelton, Steve Charles, vice-president of product development, will continue in his capacity and serve as the Americas Technical Center site leader and the company’s Akron community ambassador.

Orlando appointed president of Bridgestone Agricultural Tire

The leadership position within Bridgestone’s North American agricultural tyre business made vacant by the retirement of Kenneth Allen in June 2014 has been filled by Tony M. Orlando. As president of Bridgestone Agricultural Tire, U.S. & Canada Commercial Tire Sales, a division of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, Orlando will lead the development and execution of the North American agricultural tyre business’ strategic direction.

Orlando brings 27 years of experience to his new role at Bridgestone, including 26 years at BP. Orlando began his career at BP in 1988, joining the company as a manufacturing process engineer. Rising through the ranks, Orlando served in a number of roles including strategy development, financial analysis, mergers and acquisitions, joint venture management, business development and sales and marketing. Orlando also spent several years of his BP career in London, Hong Kong and Singapore. Most recently, Orlando was vice-president and managed several global partnerships in the US mobility and retail market space.

“Tony’s extensive customer strategy, innovation, sales and marketing experience and proven leadership skills will be a significant asset to our team,” said Kurt Danielson, president, US & Canada Commercial Tire Sales. “Tony will lead the development and execution of the strategic direction of our North American agricultural tyre business, working closely with the commercial tyre business leaders to identify common and new opportunities and further position Bridgestone as a leader in agricultural solutions.”

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