NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Mark Emkes, chairman, president and CEO of Bridgestone Americas Inc., will retire Feb. 28 after more than 33 years with the company. Bridgestone named Asahiko Nishiyama to succeed him as chairman and Gary Garfield as CEO and president.
Emkes, 56, joined the former Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1976 and ascended to the top executive spot at Bridgestone Americas in 2004, holding several domestic and international executive positions along the way.
The company said naming two successors will allow it to “further enhance the company's corporate governance structure and more clearly differentiate the responsibilities and accountabilities of (Bridgestone Americas') senior management offices.”
Nishiyama has been with Bridgestone Corp. since 1977 and has been chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations since 2008. He has spent nine years in the U.S. in various assignments from 1997 to 2001 and from 2005 to the present, Bridgestone said.
Garfield is vice president, general counsel, chief compliance officer and secretary for Bridgestone Americas, with responsibility for overseeing the company's legal and compliance functions, Bridgestone said. He joined the company—then known as Bridgestone/Firestone Inc.—in 1991.
Emkes also will retire from his position as a member of the boards of directors of Bridgestone Americas and Bridgestone Corp. In an open letter to employees he said, “You will never be able to imagine the respect I have for our Bridgestone Americas teammates and the company they represent. You have been tremendously successful—even in the face of the most dire economic climate since the Great Depression—and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of your success.”
Other executive changes include:
Eduardo Minardi, president of the Latin American Tire division, will become Bridgestone Americas' chief operating officer as well as chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, which comprises the company's Latin American tire operations and the U.S. and Canadian consumer and commercial tire businesses.
Under the new structure, Minardi and Ken Weaver, chairman, CEO and president of Firestone Diversified Products L.L.C., will report to Nishiyama. Reporting to Minardi will be Larry Magee, chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone Retail Operations L.L.C.
In addition, Chris Nicastro was appointed to fill the posts Garfield is vacating.
Nicastro has been general counsel for Bridgestone Americas' Latin American Operations and Bridgestone Americas' corporate compliance officer.