CYPRESS, Calif. (June 30, 2010)—Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc. Chairman Carlos (Shozo) Kibata, 64, died June 26 following a brief illness.
A veteran of more than 41 years with the Toyo organization, in addition to his chairman's post Kibata until recently also was an executive corporate officer of Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. in Japan.
Kibata joined Toyo Tires in 1969 and held positions of increasing responsibility in Japan. He took his first U.S. assignment with Cypress-based Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp.'s sales department from 1978 to 1986. He then returned to Tokyo, where Toyo Tire has its headquarters, to become general manager of the tire maker's International Overseas Division from 1993 to 1996. He returned to North America as president of Toyo Tire Canada Inc. from 1996 to 1999.
Kibata took the helm as president of Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. in 1999. In 2008, he established Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas, became its first president, and was instrumental in forming the company's state-of-the-art tire manufacturing plant in White, Ga., in 2004 as founding president of Toyo Tire North America Manufacturing Inc.
According to Toyo, he also played an important role in the integration and growth of the Nitto Tire unit within the U.S. Toyo Tires group.
Outside of his official corporate roles, Kibata also was active in other endeavors, previously serving as president of the Japan Business Association of Southern California.
Toyo said in a statement that the company is “deeply saddened” by his passing, calling Kibata “an inspirational leader, taking Team Toyo to a leadership position in the U.S. market. He grew the Toyo brand market share significantly during his tenure through the introduction of leading-edge products, the strengthening of customer relationships, and creation of a U.S. manufacturing base.
“Toyo Tires will always cherish the fond memories of Mr. Kibata and his legacy. He will be deeply missed.”