NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Gary Garfield, CEO, president and executive chairman of Bridgestone Americas Inc. since 2010, plans to retire at year-end after a 25-year career with the tire maker.
Gordon Knapp, the company's chief operating officer, (COO), will take over as president and CEO on Sept. 1, and William “Bill” Thompson, the company's chief financial officer (CFO), will succeed Mr. Knapp as COO.
Mr. Garfield will remain as an adviser to the company and the new leadership team until year-end. He also will retire as executive vice president and executive officer of Bridgestone Corp., effective Aug. 31.
Bridgestone Corp. CEO and Chairman Masaaki Tsuya lauded Mr. Garfield for his “exceptional service” to the company.
“Under Gary's dedicated leadership, Bridgestone Americas achieved six straight years of record business results,” he said, “and he has led positive culture changes through the organization. His commitment to the company, our people and our customers is unequaled, and I know he will be missed.”
Commenting on Mr. Knapp's promotion, Mr. Tsuya said, “Gordon brings a tremendous wealth of corporate experience and demonstrated success to this new leadership role. He's worked in consumer products his entire professional career, leading the operations of some of the world's leading brands and has been with us for three years in roles of increasing responsibility. He is clearly ready to step into this new leadership role.”
Mr. Garfield called his time as Bridgestone Americas' top executive the “capstone” of his career.
“I'm so proud of the company's performance, but I believe my greatest legacy is establishing the foundation for a culture centered on true, open dialogue and innovation,” Mr. Garfield said.
“We have built an incredibly strong team at Bridgestone Americas, and I am confident that the company is in extremely good hands with the high-caliber leadership that Gordon and Bill will provide. It has been my great privilege and honor to lead and work with the Bridgestone Americas team.”