AKRON—After a combined 16 years in the Akron community, Hideo Hara, Bridgestone Americas' chief technology officer, will return to Bridgestone Japan to assume the role of Bridgestone fellow, effective March 24.
In his new role as a Bridgestone fellow, the tire maker said Hara will serve as an advisor to the company and work with various communications functions to represent Bridgestone's technology position and narrative across key markets.
Hara first relocated to Bridgestone Americas in 1992 as an engineering manager, returning to his native Japan after six years stateside. He was reassigned to the Americas for a five year stint beginning in 2001 as divisional vice president of technology planning.
His third, and current, assignment brought Hara back to the U.S. as CTO in 2010. The role that required him to work closely with all of Bridgestone Americas' research and technology operations, the majority of which are located in Akron, the Nashville-based firm said.
Gary Garfield, CEO and president of Bridgestone Amercias, said Hara's “energy, commitment and infectious good humor, along with his knowledge, creativity and innovative approach to technology and product development, have been an extraordinary asset to Bridgestone Americas. While we will miss his day-to-day presence here, we are excited for him as he embarks on this new career path.”
Following Hara's return to Japan, Bridgestone America's Center for Research & Technology and the Guayule Rubber Projects in Arizona—the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center and the Bridgestone Agro Operations—will report to Steve Shelton, the company's senior vice president technology, manufacturing and procurement.
Reporting to Shelton will be Steve Charles, vice president of product development, who will continue in that capacity and serve as the Americas Technical Center site leader and the firm's Akron community ambassador.