NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. is reorganizing its consumer dealer sales operations into two key account groups: one intended to serve key accounts better, the other to offer increased support for regional customers.
BFS Vice President of Consumer Dealer Sales John Gamauf announced the move Dec. 7 at the company's semi-annual marketing meeting in Nashville. The reorganization, he said, was undertaken in response to market changes including dealership consolidations, mergers and buyouts.
"These new line groups, headquartered in Nashville and reporting directly to me, will augment and complement our ongoing efforts to support all dealers—regardless of (business) size or location," he said.
In the past, Mr. Gamauf said, BFS has relied primarily on regional business concepts. "Today, we're looking at ways to eliminate borders and free up our staff to work with customers in all areas of the country."
"We think the concept of new key account managers and regional marketing managers working cooperatively is a progressive move that will provide a wealth of benefits," he added.
Named to head the groups were current BFS managers John Baratta and Rudy Beach. Mr. Baratta formerly was West Coast region manager. Mr. Beach managed the company's customer service group.
The company said its reorganization plans also call for a redeployment of staff:
Carl Douglas will manage the newly merged South Central and South East regions;
Bill Pransky, a former regions marketing manager, will replace Tom Kiehfuss as regional general manager in the Midwest. Mr. Kiehfuss plans to retire in January after 36 years of company service;
Tim Dunn will remain regional general manager in the Northeast; and
A new west regional manager will be appointed in the near future to replace Mr. Baratta.