TOYKO — Bridgestone Corp. is promoting Paolo Ferrari, CEO of Bridgestone Europe since 2016 — and Pirelli Tire North America's top executive from 2011 to 2014 — to president, CEO and chief operating officer of Bridgestone Americas Inc., succeeding the retiring Gordon Knapp.
The move is effective Jan. 15.
Bridgestone CEO Masaaki Tsuya called Mr. Ferrari a "true global executive," and said he brings with him "extensive knowledge of the Americas markets and many different industries and is the right leader to build on the foundations Gordon has created to guide Bridgestone Americas into the next decade."
Mr. Ferrari also is executive vice president, executive officer and global digital strategic officer of Bridgestone Corp., as well as a member of the board, CEO and president of Bridgestone Europe N.V./S.A. and chairman of the Bridgestone Americas Board.
Mr. Knapp, vice chair and executive officer of Bridgestone Corp. and president, CEO and COO of Bridgestone Americas, will transition out of his executive roles on Jan. 15, but will continue to serve as a strategic adviser until March 31, when he will retire.
Mr. Knapp has been president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas since September 2016, succeeding the retiring Gary Garfield at that time.
Mr. Tsuya, currently chairman, CEO and representative executive officer of Bridgestone Corp., will become chairman of the Bridgestone Americas board of directors.
"On behalf of Bridgestone Global and more than 143,000 teammates worldwide," Mr. Tsuya said, "I want to express my sincere thanks to Gordon for his leadership and contributions to Bridgestone Corporation and Bridgestone Americas.
"He has been a key member of the global executive committee of Bridgestone Corp,, and Bridgestone Americas has undergone significant change and growth while delivering value to our shareholders over the past four years under his leadership. I know he will be missed."
Mr. Knapp, who spent much of his previous career in consumer products operations, joined Bridgestone Americas in 2013 as president, Integrated Consumer Tire, U.S. & Canada. He became vice president and officer of Bridgestone Corp. and COO of Bridgestone Americas in 2014.
Prior to joining Bridgestone, Mr. Knapp worked for Kimberly-Clark Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Warner-Lambert Inc.