TOKYO (Jan. 12, 2006) — Bridgestone Corp. Chairman, CEO and President Shigeo Watanabe will step down March 30 and be replaced by Shoshi Arakawa, presently executive vice president.
Mr. Watanabe, chairman since 2001, will continue to serve Bridgestone as a board member and adviser to the board, the Tokyo-based tire maker said.
Mr. Arakawa, 61, is a 37-year Bridgestone veteran who has held several overseas positions, including chairman and CEO of Bridgestone/Firestone Europe S.A. from 2001 to 2003 and more recently senior vice president responsible for international operations.
Mr. Watanabe, 62, joined Bridgestone in 1965 and served as an executive both in the U.S. and Europe during his 40 years with the company. He was named the firm's top executive in January 2001 to replace Yoichiro Kaizaki, who stepped down in the wake of the Firestone Wilderness/ATX tire recall in the U.S.
The succession will take effect after the annual shareholders meeting March 30, Bridgestone said.