Feb 18, 2011 Nashville, TN
Takahashi Named Bridgestone Americas Chairman
Bridgestone Corporation (BSJ) and Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) today announced that Koki Takahashi, currently Vice Chairman and Chief Financial Officer, BSAM, will be elected Chairman of the Board of Directors of BSAM, effective March 18, 2011. Takahashi will be taking on the board leadership position that has been held on an interim basis since Jan. 1, 2011, by Masaaki Tsuya, Bridgestone Corporation Vice President, Senior Officer and Member of the BSJ Board, as well as its Chief Risk Management Officer, Chief Human Rights Officer and Officer Responsible for Corporate Administration.
Takahashi, BSAM’s CFO since August 2010, brings a wealth of experience to his chairmanship of the BSAM Board of Directors. He has more than 30 years of experience with the Bridgestone Group of companies and has held various senior level finance positions with BSJ, including serving as CFO from 2008 through June 2010. During that time, he also held the concurrent position of Chief Information Officer and had other responsibilities. Before his latest assignment with BSAM, Takahashi served as Vice President, Officer and Assistant to the Vice President and Senior Officer responsible for Corporate Administration at BSJ. Takahashi also has extensive international experience holding positions with key responsibilities in both the Americas and Europe during his career.
“With his experience and track record of success, I know Koki will provide excellent leadership for our Board of Directors,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and President, BSAM. “We were very privileged to have Tsuya-san serve in this very important role. I want to personally thank him for the leadership he provided our Board on an interim basis. Fortunately, Tsuya-san remains a member of the BSAM Board so our organization will continue to benefit from his business knowledge and strategic vision.”
Takahashi’s successor as BSAM’s CFO will be announced at a later date.
In other company news, Bridgestone Corporation, BSAM’s parent company, also announced today that Garfield and Eduardo Minardi, Chief Operating Officer, BSAM, and Chairman, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, have both been elected Vice Presidents and Senior Officers of Bridgestone Corporation, effective March 29, 2011. In addition, Christine Karbowiak, Chief Administrative Officer and Executive Vice President, BSAM, has been elected a Vice President and Officer of BSJ, effective March 29, 2011.
Gary A. Garfield
After three years as Vice President and General Counsel, Gary Garfield assumed the role of CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. March 1, 2010. In 1991, Garfield joined then-Bridgestone/Firestone, Inc. in Nashville, Tenn., serving as Senior Counsel. In 1995, he was promoted to the position of General Counsel for Bridgestone Firestone Tire Sales Company. In 2002, Garfield was named Vice President and General Counsel of Bridgestone Firestone North American Tire, LLC. In 2007, Garfield accepted the positions of Vice President, General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Secretary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., positions in which he had served in an “acting” capacity since 2006. In addition to his work at Bridgestone Americas, Garfield is a board member of Firestone Diversified Products, LLC, the Tennessee Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, the Nashville Ballet and the Middle Tennessee Council, Boy Scouts of America. He is also a member of the American Bar Association and the Nashville Bar Association. In January 2011, he joined the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville’s Board of Trustees. Garfield received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from Wittenberg University and his Juris Doctor from Cincinnati University.
After 21 years with the company, Eduardo Minardi assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer for Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and Chairman, CEO and President of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations March 1, 2010. Minardi joined Bridgestone Firestone Argentina, S.A.I.C. in 1989 as Product Manager. He was also Sales Manager and Marketing Director in Argentina and ultimately worked his way up to President of Bridgestone Firestone Argentina, S.A.I.C. in 2001. In October 2002 he was named President of Bridgestone Firestone de México, S.A. de C.V., and he assumed his responsibilities as Executive Vice President, Bridgestone Americas, Inc., and President, Bridgestone Firestone Latin American Tire Operations, in 2007. Minardi serves on the boards of Bridgestone Americas, Inc. and Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC. Minardi graduated from Buenos Aires University with a bachelor’s degree in economics. He has completed both the CEO Management Program at Northwestern University and the Leadership Program through the Owen Graduate School of Management at Vanderbilt University. Before joining Bridgestone, Minardi worked in the banking industry as a consultant in organizational and strategic planning and served as professor of economics at the Universidad de Lomas de Zamora (U.N.L.Z) in Argentina.
Christine Karbowiak was named to the newly created position of Chief Administrative Officer for BSAM, effective April 1, 2010. In this role she is responsible for the company’s Community and Corporate Relations, Government Relations, Environmental Affairs, Internal Audit, Safety and Industrial Hygiene, and Corporate Security functions. Karbowiak joined the company’s Retail Operations in Rolling Meadows, Ill., as Senior Counsel in June 1992 and advanced to the position of Assistant General Counsel one year later. Early in 1997, Karbowiak relocated to Nashville and took on the role of Division General Counsel for the company’s corporate and international operations, a position she held for 21 months before assuming her role as Vice President of Public Affairs. On Jan. 1, 2009, Karbowiak became a member of the Bridgestone Americas Board of Directors, becoming the first woman to serve on the Board of a major Bridgestone Group company. In 2009, she was also named Executive Vice President of Community and Corporate Relations. Karbowiak, who is active in the community, also serves on the board of Bridgestone Brands, LLC. A native of Chicago, Ill., Karbowiak graduated from the University of Illinois with a B.S. in Journalism and a Juris Doctor degree.