Bridgestone Announces Technology Leadership ChangesHara to Return to Bridgestone Japan

Nashville, Tenn. (February 17, 2015) – Bridgestone Americas (BSA) today announced that after a combined 16 years in the Akron community, Hideo “Hank” Hara, chief technology officer (CTO), will return to Bridgestone Japan (BSJ) effective March 24 to assume the role of Bridgestone fellow.

Hara first relocated from BSJ to BSA in 1992 as an engineering manager.  He returned to Japan after six years but was reassigned to the Americas for a five-year tour of duty beginning in 2001 (as divisional vice president of technology planning). His third, and current, assignment brought him back to BSA as CTO in 2010, a role that required him to work closely with all of BSA’s research and technology operations, the majority of which are located in Akron. In his new role as a Bridgestone fellow, Hara will serve as an advisor to the company and work with various communications functions to represent Bridgestone’s leading technology position and narrative across key markets. 

“Hank’s energy, commitment and infectious good humor, along with his knowledge, creativity and innovative approach to technology and product development, have been an extraordinary asset to BSA,” said Gary Garfield, CEO and president, BSA. “While we will miss his day-to-day presence here, we are excited for him as he embarks on this new career path.”

Following Hara’s return to Japan, the Bridgestone Americas Center for Research & Technology and the Guayule Rubber Projects in Arizona (the Bridgestone Biorubber Process Research Center and the Bridgestone Agro Operations) will report to Steve Shelton, BSA’s senior vice president technology, manufacturing and procurement.  Reporting to Shelton, Steve Charles, vice president of product development, will continue in his capacity and serve as the Americas Technical Center site leader and the company’s Akron community ambassador.

About Bridgestone Corporation:
Bridgestone Corporation, headquartered in Tokyo, is the world’s largest tire and rubber company. In addition to tires for use in a wide variety of applications, it also manufactures a broad range of diversified products, which include industrial rubber and chemical products and sporting goods. Its products are sold in over 150 nations and territories around the world.

About Bridgestone Americas, Inc.:
Nashville, Tennessee-based Bridgestone Americas, Inc. (BSAM) is the U.S. subsidiary of Bridgestone Corporation, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. BSAM and its subsidiaries develop, manufacture and market a wide range of Bridgestone, Firestone and associate brand tires to address the needs of a broad range of customers, including consumers, automotive and commercial vehicle original equipment manufacturers, and those in the agricultural, forestry and mining industries. The companies are also engaged in retreading operations throughout the Western Hemisphere and produce air springs, roofing materials, and industrial fibers and textiles. The BSAM family of companies also operates the world’s largest chain of automotive tire and service centers. Guided by its One Team, One Planet message, the company is dedicated to achieving a positive environmental impact in all of the communities it calls home.