NASHVILLE, Tenn.-Bridgestone/Firestone Inc. has created a new U.S. Tire Operations unit, headed by Vice Chairman Isao Togashi, combining into one entity all portions of the company serving the U.S. consumer and commercial tire markets.
Last October, the Nashville-based tire maker pared its previously existing 21-unit configuration down to five operating units. A BFS spokeswoman said the company's previous organizational design ``wasn't the right arrangement for us going forward.'' The latest reorganization reduces those five units to three-U.S. Tire Operations, Diversified Products and International Tire Operations.
The U.S. Tire Operations unit will consist of manufacturing, technology and research, plus the sales organizations serving the U.S. commercial tire and consumer tire markets.
Those heading these functions will report to Mr. Togashi, who in turn will report to Chairman John Lampe. The Diversified Products and International Tire units will report separately to Mr. Lampe through their respective senior vice presidents, Robert McNally and Mark Emkes.
``We're creating a different structure and a different understanding,'' the spokeswoman said. ``The philosophy is that we're all in one business.''
The reorganization shouldn't affect tire dealers much, the spokeswoman said, adding it will create ``common lines of communications'' throughout. ``We'll be able to provide more effectively the customer service that really has grown this business throughout the `90s,'' she said.
The spokeswoman said the move is intended to help the company ``regain momentum,'' in the wake of recent recalls of Firestone light truck tires.