Jan 9, 2017 NASHVILLE, Tenn.

Bridgestone Americas Announces Retirement of President, Consumer Replacement Tire Sales, U.S. & Canada

John Baratta retires after 34 years, Erik Seidel named as successor
TJ Higgins, president, integrated consumer tire division, U.S. & Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

Erik shares John’s passion for our customers, and he is the right person to build upon the success of John’s leadership.

TJ Higgins, president, integrated consumer tire division, U.S. & Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations

John Baratta (left), president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. & Canada, to retire effective March 1. Erik Seidel (right), current vice president, consumer replacement tire sales, will be promoted to president, consumer replacement tire sales.

John Baratta retires after 34 years, Erik Seidel named as successor

Bridgestone Americas (Bridgestone) today announced the retirement of John Baratta, president, consumer replacement tire sales, U.S. & Canada, effective March 1. Ensuring a smooth transition, current vice president, consumer replacement tire sales, Erik Seidel, will be promoted to president, consumer replacement tire sales.

Baratta is retiring after 34 years with Bridgestone Americas. He joined what was then the Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1983 as a tire sales manager in Charleston, S.C. He quickly gained experience in all facets of the company’s retail operations. Over the next two decades, Baratta ascended through the ranks of the Bridgestone consumer tire business, and in 2008, he assumed his current position as president of consumer replacement for North America.

“John has been an outstanding member of our team, and his contributions to the consumer tire group have been fundamental to the growth and success of Bridgestone Americas,” said TJ Higgins, president, integrated consumer tire division, U.S. & Canada, Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. “We wish John the very best in retirement and are excited for Erik to take on this role. Erik shares John’s passion for our customers, and he is the right person to build upon the success of John’s leadership.”

Seidel has a diverse background that encompasses brand marketing, manufacturing and sales. He joined Bridgestone in 2013 as vice president of brand marketing for the consumer tire business. In that role, Seidel led the company’s brand-building efforts, developing breakthrough product launches, including the introduction of the company’s revolutionary DriveGuard tire line.

In June 2015, Seidel was promoted to his current position working alongside Baratta as vice president of consumer replacement tire sales, where he has successfully delivered growth and driven new product development across North America. Seidel has been a champion for the company’s customers, delivering new tools and technologies such as TireConnect and the side-by-side selling tool to help dealers engage with consumers online and ultimately drive sales.

“Erik has quickly demonstrated his ability to strengthen relationships, build trust and drive growth,” said Baratta. “I am excited for him to take on this role and have full confidence that his leadership will allow Bridgestone to achieve our vision of becoming an indispensable business partner.” 

Prior to joining Bridgestone, Seidel worked at Kimberly-Clark Corporation, where he managed a number of world-class brands and P&Ls for VIVA Towels, the Scott brand and the Huggies brand of diapers and wipes. He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a MBA and a master’s degree in manufacturing management from Northwestern University.

For more company news, visit BridgestoneAmericas.com