NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Dec. 9, 2002) — Shu Ishibashi, president of Bridgestone/Firestone's North American Consumer Tire Group and an executive vice president of Bridgestone/Firestone Americas Holding Inc. (BFAH), is returning to Japan after 14 years in the U.S. to accept an assignment with Bridgestone Corp.'s domestic replacement tire sales group.
Effective Jan. 1, Mr. Ishibashi, 48, will be responsible for designing and implementing marketing plans and programs for commercial and consumer replacement tires in Japan, according to BFS, and also will be responsible for developing and implementing the Bridgestone company store marketing programs throughout Japan. He also will become one of Bridgestone's youngest directors.
“Shu and his team have designed and implemented some of the most innovative and successful marketing strategies in the business,” said Mark Emkes, CEO, chairman and president of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire L.L.C. (BFNT), in a press release. “Over these past 14 years, Shu's creativity and energy have strengthened our company and our brands, and I know he will achieve great success in his new position in Japan.”
For the time being, Mr. Emkes will oversee Mr. Ishibashi's areas of responsibility at BFNT, the company said.
Mr. Ishibashi first came to the U.S. in 1988 as a member of the Firestone Merger Project when then-Akron-based Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. was acquired by Tokyo's Bridgestone Corp. BFS called him a “key contributor” to the tire maker's success. He joined the marketing staff of BFS's retail division in 1989 and quickly climbed through the ranks to his current position with the Consumer Tire Group.
“I've enjoyed my years in the U.S. and I'm proud of the success our team has achieved in building the Bridgestone brand, strengthening our relationships with our loyal dealers, and most recently rebuilding the Firestone brand,” Mr. Ishibashi said in a prepared statement. “But I'm looking forward to the task ahead and working with our team in Japan to energize our retail marketing efforts and to continue to grow our consumer and commercial tire sales.”
Mr. Ishibashi joined Bridgestone Corp. in 1977 and, in 25 years with the company, has held a series of key marketing and planning positions. He graduated from Shizuoka University in 1977 with a law degree.