NASHVILLE, Tenn.—Bridgestone Americas Inc. has made a series of upper-level executive changes as part of its strategy to strengthen its core tire business and accelerate its initiative to become a global leader in mobility solutions.
Among those affected are: Riccardo Cichi, currently chief sales officer for Bridgestone Europe, Middle East, India & Africa: Eric Higgs, currently president of truck, bus and retread tires; and Chris Ripani, currently president of GCR Tires & Service.
These moves build upon global leadership changes that Bridgestone disclosed in late January, and better will align resources to global and local objectives while also prioritizing higher growth opportunities.
Among those affected by the global changes was Gabriel Asbun, CEO and chief operating officer of Bridgestone Asia Pacific, who was named to take over as Americas Tire group president, effective at the end of March.
"These strategic leadership changes will enable Bridgestone to continue to successfully meet the needs of our customers in a dynamic and changing world," according to Paolo Ferrari, who has served as president, CEO and COO of Bridgestone Americas since Jan. 15. Ferrari, who was Pirelli Tire North America's top executive from 2011 to 2014, joined Bridgestone in 2016 as president of Bridgestone Europe.
These latest leadership changes will take effect March 16:
• Cichi has been named president and chief sales officer, North America, a newly created role that calls for the longtime industry veteran to lead a consolidated sales organization for the consumer replacement and commercial truck, bus and retread tire businesses in the U.S. and Canada, including the GCR commercial service network.
Cichi brings more than 30 years of global tire industry expertise to his new role. He joined Bridgestone in 2017 after 27 years with Pirelli & C. S.p.A. in North America, will report to Asbun.
• Higgs was named senior vice president of marketing operations, a new position. In this role, Higgs will be tasked with helping shape the future of Bridgestone Americas' tire and solutions business and create synergies between the marketing and sales organizations. He joined Bridgestone in 2016 as vice president of commercial marketing.