NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Feb. 27, 2003) — Shigehisa Sano, executive vice president, product development of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire (BFNT), will return to Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. as vice president, research and development and technology, Nashville-based BFNT said.
Hank Hara, currently divisional vice president, tire development and technology, will succeed Mr. Sano at BFNT's Akron-based Technology Center, effective March 1. Mr. Hara also will be elected to the board of directors of both BFNT and its parent Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. as of March 1.
In his new position, Mr. Sano will oversee Bridgestone's research and development efforts in materials for new business opportunities, such as nano-technology, BFNT said. He also will manage Bridgestone's global intellectual properties in both tire and non-tire businesses. Mr. Sano had been the director of commercial tire development in Tokyo before moving to the Akron post.
Mr. Hara joined Bridgestone in 1977 in the material development department. He worked as a technical assistant in Akron in 1992, returning to Tokyo in 1998 and again returning to the U.S. in 2000.