NASHVILLE, Tenn.―Bridgestone Americas has made leadership changes to its executive team and consumer tire business in support of the company's strategic agenda to globalize.
Gordon Knapp has been named chief operating officer of Nashville-based Bridgestone Americas and chairman, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, effective March 1, succeeding Eduardo Minardi, who previously held those positions. Until his successor is named, Bridgestone said Knapp also will continue in his current position as president, North American Consumer Tire, for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations.
Effective March 1, Minardi will relocate to Brussels, Belgium, to become chairman of Bridgestone Europe, while continuing to serve on the tire maker's board of directors. Minardi assumed his Bridgestone Americas responsibilities in 2010 and added the European unit's executive chair accountabilities on Jan. 1.
Gary Garfield, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas, said Minardi "has helped lead Bridgestone Americas through the most successful period in our company's history, and he will undoubtedly help do the same for (Bridgestone Europe). His industry knowledge, leadership skills and cross-cultural perspective will be a tremendous asset for our global company in the European market.
"While we will miss Eduardo's daily guidance and leadership, we are very happy to have his continuing support as a member of (Bridgestone America's) board of directors and look forward to applauding his future success in Europe."
Garfield called Knapp "smart, strategic and battle-tested," noting the company is "fortunate and excited that his previous experience in leading operations for iconic consumer brands will continue to be an asset as we continue transforming our company and work to generate more value for consumers."
Knapp has spent his career—both in the U.S. and internationally—in the consumer products area, "leading the operations of many of the world's foremost brands," according to Bridgestone Americas. Prior to joining the tire maker, he served as president, Family Care North Atlantic, Consumer Tissue Division for Kimberly Clark. He also has held leadership positions in the consumer products businesses for Pfizer Inc. and for Warner-Lambert Inc.