NASHVILLE, Tenn. (July 25, 2001)—Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has announced the creation of its new U.S. Tire Operations organizational unit. The realignment, which will be headed by Vice Chairman Isao Togashi, combines into one entity all portions of the company that comprise the U.S. consumer and commercial tire market.
Last October, the company, which at that time consisted of a 21-unit configuration, was pared down to five units. The explanation was that the prior design made sense, but “wasn't the right arrangement for us going forward,” a BFS spokeswoman said.
The breakdown at that time consisted of U.S. commercial tire, U.S. consumer tire, manufacturing, technology and research, diversified products and international tire operations. The structure has now been further broken down to include U.S. tire operations, diversified products and international tire operations.
The new U.S. operations will consist of manufacturing, technology and research, U.S. commercial tire and U.S. consumer tire. They will report to Mr. Togashi, who will report to CEO and President John Lampe. The diversified products division will report to Mr. Lampe through Robert McNally, while the international tire operations will go through Mark Emkes, Messers Togashi, McNally and Emkes are all BFS senior vice presidents.
“We're creating a different structure and a different understanding,” the BFS spokeswoman said of the management redesign. “The philosophy is that we're all in one business.”
The management restructuring shouldn't affect dealers much, the spokeswoman said, adding it would create “common lines of communication throughout. We'll be able to provide more effectively the customer service that really has grown this business throughout the ´90s.”
The move, the spokeswoman said, aims to help BFS “regain that momentum,” in the wake of recent recalls of nearly 20 million Firestone tires.
She said the first round of restructuring, when the company pared 21 units down to five, has shown a degree of success, noting that communication “became more transparent among the groups. The goals that were established were consistent goals across the business.”