In the wake of the Ford/Firestone tire scandal, Bridgestone/Firestone, Nashville, Tenn., announced that it will immediately consolidate several of its business divisions into four new operating units.

The company’s commercial tire unit, U.S. Commercial Tire, will bring together Bridgestone/Firestone’s truck, agriculture, off-the-road tires, and tube operations into a single unit. Chuck Ramsey has been appointed president of the division and will continue as executive vice president of Bridgestone/Firestone.
Additional units include U.S. Consumer Tire, which will incorporate the company's consumer tire sales, original equipment sales, retail operations and credit card businesses; Manufacturing and Technology Operations, which will oversee all areas of research, technology and manufacturing; and International Tire Operations.
"Since the early nineties, we have been a decentralized company, focusing on 21 separate businesses," said John T. Lampe, chairman and chief executive officer and president. "While this structure was innovative and successful for our company then, it is time to dismantle the castle walls and empty the moats. Going forward, our emphasis will be on better information and knowledge sharing, and more direct accountability at all levels inside the company."
"More changes will be made in the coming weeks," Lampe added.