NASHVILLE, Tenn. (Jan. 7, 2004) – John Lampe, chairman, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc. for the past three years, will retire from those posts March 31 and be succeeded by Mark Emkes, currently chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire L.L.C.
Mr. Lampe, 56, and a 30-year veteran of Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. and Bridgestone/Firestone, said he is retiring to spend more time with his family. He will remain on the Bridgestone Americas board of directors following his retirement.
“I believe it is time for a change,” Mr. Lampe told employees via a Webcast, “and this is an instance of my head overruling my heart. While my heart is telling me that I can stay, my head is telling me it is time for a fresh set of eyes, a new perspective and increased energy levels.”
Mr. Lampe took over as the top executive of Bridgestone/Firestone in North America in October 2000 in the midst of the Firestone Wilderness/ATX recalls. He succeeded Masatoshi Ono, who stepped down after seven years at the helm of the company.
Mr. Emkes, 50, and a 27-year veteran with the company, will keep his duties at the North American tire unit, Bridgestone Americas said. Prior to being named to those posts in September 2002, Mr. Emkes was president of Bridgestone/Firestone Latin American Operations.
Saying it was “a privilege and an honor to be succeeding John at this time in the company's history,” Mr. Emkes said there is “still a long way to go in our company's recovery plan, (but) our team under John's leadership has laid the groundwork, the basis, for solid business growth in the future.”
Other executive changes occurring at the same time are:
Yuji Tomiyasu, formerly director, Americas and European operations, Bridgestone Corp., joins Bridgestone Americas as executive vice president and also will serve as president and vice chairman of Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire. He will assume additional duties as vice chairman and president of Bridgestone Americas on April 1.
Mike Gorey, currently vice president and controller, Bridgestone Americas, and chief financial officer, Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire, has been appointed chairman, CEO and president of BFS Diversified Products L.L.C.