SANTA ANA, Calif.—Jeff Barna has been promoted to president and CEO of Yokohama Tire Corp., one of several organizational moves made by the American subsidiary of Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd.
As part of his expanded duties, Barna will oversee YTC's Yokohama Development Center America in Cornelius, N.C.
Barna, who joined YTC as chief operating officer in 2017 and was named president of the tire maker's U.S. operations a year later, said he is "honored and grateful for the opportunity to continue to lead Yokohama in the U.S.
"Our parent company has recognized us as a driver of global growth for our consolidated operations, and that is exactly what we intend to do," Barna said.
He is looking forward to increasing his role with the product and innovation at YDCA, saying that he is "confident that the team we have assembled throughout the country has us in a great position to reach our goals."
Shinichi Takimoto, a senior managing officer of YRC and current CEO of YTC, will remain chairman of YTC as well as president and CEO of Yokohama Corp. of North America, chairman of Yokohama Tire Canada Inc. (YTV), and chairman of Yokohama Tire Mexico S. de R.L. de C.V. (YTMX).
Other changes include:
- Takehisa Morimoto will be chairman and president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Mississippi, succeeding Hikomitsu Noji, who will return to YRC as a senior advisor. Morimoto most recently was president of Yokohama Tire Manufacturing Thailand.
- Tom Kenny, currently senior director of research and development at YDCA, has been promoted to vice president of YDCA. Kenny will report directly to Barna.
- Jeremy Kahrs, former director of technical services at YDCA, has been named senior director of technical services. Kahrs will continue to report to Kenny.
Morimoto will be "a great fit and is ready to lead YTMM," Barna said. "I'd also like to congratulate Tom and Jeremy on their well-deserved promotions at YDCA. I've had the pleasure of working with both of them the last few years and am excited about their ongoing leadership of YDCA."
YRC ranks as the world's No. 8 tire maker according to Tire Business' latest Global Tire Report, with tire-related sales of $4.8 billion in 2019.
In an interview late last year with Tire Business, Barna said the company feels good about how it navigated the difficulties brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Overall we feel pretty good about where we ended up," he said.
"There have been a tremendous amount of lessons learned over the course of time. Those lessons learned feed into a better experience for the entire team, being able to manage under such adversity and uncertainty."