NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Bridgestone Americas Inc. has hired American Honda Motor Co. Public Relations Head Steve Kinkade to be its vice president of communications, filling a position that's been vacant since Paul Oakley left Bridgestone last October.
In this role, Mr. Kinkade will oversee a communications strategy that engages Bridgestone Americas stakeholders and employees, promotes company brands and products and supports the company's corporate reputation.
"As our industry rapidly changes, so too does our business at Bridgestone Americas," said Chris Karbowiak, vice chair, chief administrative officer, chief risk officer and executive vice president, Bridgestone Americas, "and it is imperative that we continue to foster a world-class communications team that helps to promote our brands, our products and the great work being done by our employees.
"Steve's background in managing strategic corporate communications programs for leading automotive companies in North America will be a tremendous asset in helping us strengthen our communications program across Bridgestone Americas."
Mr. Kinkade moves to Bridgestone from American Honda, where he was department head of public relations for the Honda brand. During his time at Honda, he also led media relations and strategy development for both Honda and Acura brands, Honda Power Equipment, motorsports and the company's safety communications efforts.
In addition, Mr. Kinkade managed a cross-branded, U.S.-based team with presence in Detroit, Atlanta, New York and Los Angeles during a seven-plus-year career at Honda.
Prior to his tenure with Honda, he was general manager of automotive communications at Ally Financial and also held roles with Ford Motor Co. and Audi of America.
Mr. Kinkade is a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a degree in journalism and public relations. He earned his master's degree in management from the Walsh College of Accountancy and Business Administration and his MBA from Michigan State University.
Mr. Oakley left Bridgestone in October after holding the communications vice presidency for six years, four months. The company did not comment on his reasons for leaving. He now is president ot Tiny Might Communications, a Nashville-based company he founded.