Bridgestone Americas Inc. has shifted responsibilities for five of the company's leaders, saying the moves are designed to strengthen Bridgestone's core tire business while also pushing forward with its transition to be a global provider of mobility solutions. The changes take effect March 16.
“These strategic leadership changes will enable Bridgestone to continue to successfully meet the needs of our customers in a dynamic and changing world,” said Paolo Ferrari, CEO, president, and COO of Bridgestone Americas. “We are taking steps to continue to enhance our core tire business while accelerating our journey to be a leader in advanced and sustainable mobility solutions by leveraging the experience of executives who have proven track records of success in the businesses they will now lead.”
Riccardo Cichi has been named president and chief sales officer, North America. Cichi currently is chief sales officer for Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India, & Africa (EMIA).
In this newly created role, Cichi will lead a consolidated sales organization for both the consumer replacement tire business and the commercial truck, bus, and retread tire business in the U.S. and Canada. He also will oversee the company’s GCR Tires & Service commercial service network.
Cichi brings more than 30 years of global tire industry expertise to his new role, including in the U.S. market. Cichi will report to Gabriel Asbun, who at the end of March will begin work as group president of Bridgestone's tire business in America.
Chris Ripani, currently the president of GCR, will take on the expanded role of president of truck, bus, and retread tires and GCR. Ripani has been with Bridgestone for nearly 20 years, serving in a variety of strategic sales, marketing, and operations roles across the company’s commercial businesses. Ripani will report to Cichi.
Ripani's counterpart on the consumer side of the business, Erik Seidel, will remain in his current role as president or Bridgestone's consumer replacement tire sales in the U.S. and Canada. Seidel also will report to Cichi.
Eric Higgs has been named senior vice president of marketing operations — a new role in the company. He currently serves as president of truck, bus, and retread tires. Bridgestone said this new role will "help shape the future of the Bridgestone Americas tire and solutions business and create synergies between the marketing and sales organizations." Higgs will report to Philip Dobbs, chief marketing officer for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC.
Brian Goldstine, senior vice president, fleet management solutions for the commercial tire business, will take on the expanded role of president, mobility solutions and fleet management. He will be responsible for scaling mobility solutions for the complete Bridgestone Americas enterprise. All existing resources dedicated to fleet management and mobility solutions will be integrated into one specialized organization, Bridgestone noted. Goldstine will report to Asbun.
Craig Schneider, president of diversified businesses, will take on an expanded role as president of enterprise strategy, corporate development and diversified businesses. In this new role, Schneider will have responsibility for enterprise strategy, portfolio and analytics, mergers and acquisitions, and strategic initiatives, while also continuing to lead the company’s diversified businesses. He will report to Ferrari.
These changes follow others that have come since December, when Bridgestone Corp. announced that its board had propsed a new CEO in Japan.
Since then, the company named Ferrari as the new leader of Bridgestone Americas. In January, the tire maker named a new president of the Americas Tire Business — Asbun, who replaced TJ Higgins.