NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. has hired Joe Venezia, an executive with 20-plus years of consumer retail experience, to be president of its Bridgestone Retail Operations (BSRO).
Venezia fills a position that's been vacant since October 2016, when the unit's former president, Stu Crum, left Bridgestone to become COO of Service King Collision Repair Centers.
Damien Harmon, who was promoted to chief operating officer of BSRO at that time, has been serving as the unit's interim president since Crum's departure.
TJ Higgins, president, North America integrated consumer tire group, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, cited Venezia's "diverse retail and operational background" as characteristics that will help BSRO continue to build on its goal of "delivering a consistent, world-class customer experience across our retail store network."
Venezia most recently was executive vice president of global store operations at Toys"R"Us Inc., overseeing a network of more than 850 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us retail stores in the U.S. He joined Toys"R"Us in 2014 as senior vice president, store operations.
Prior to Toys"R"Us, Venezia was senior vice president of operations and head of stores for The Pantry, a leading independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S. He also has held leadership positions with Walmart Inc. and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, and began his career as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble.
BSRO operates the world's largest company-owned network of tire and automotive service centers nationwide, with more than 2,200 points of sale under the Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works brands.
Bridgestone is in the process of relocating BSRO to Nashville from its home in Bloomingdale, Ill.
In addition to its company-owned tire and automotive service stores, Bridgestone's distribution network includes nearly 3,000 points of sale within the Bridgestone Affiliated Retailer Nationwide Network.