The CEO, president and executive chairman of Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Gary Garfield, will be retiring at the end of this year.
In order to effect a smooth transition to the company’s new leadership team, Bridgestone Americas has announced that Gordon Knapp, the company’s chief operating officer (COO), will become Bridgestone Americas’ president and CEO on Sept. 1, 2016, and William “Bill” Thompson, the company’s current Chief Financial Officer (CFO), will succeed Knapp as COO on that date. Garfield will remain as an advisor to the company and the new leadership team until year-end. Garfield also will retire from his position as executive vice president and executive officer of Bridgestone Americas’ parent company, Bridgestone Corporation, effective Aug. 31.
“On behalf of the Bridgestone Group, including the more than 50,000 teammates in the Americas, I would like to express our sincerest thanks to Gary for his 25 years of exceptional service to the company,” Said Bridgestone Corporation’s CEO, representative board member and chairman of the board, Masaaki Tsuya. “Under Gary’s dedicated leadership, Bridgestone Americas achieved six straight years of record business results, and he has led positive culture changes through the organization. His commitment to the company, our people and our customers is unequaled, and I know he will be missed.”
“Leading Bridgestone Americas for the last six and a half years has been the capstone of my career,” said Garfield. “I’m so proud of the company’s performance, but I believe my greatest legacy is establishing the foundation for a culture centered on true, open dialogue and innovation. We have built an incredibly strong team at Bridgestone Americas, and I am confident that the company is in extremely good hands with the high-caliber leadership that Gordon and Bill will provide. It has been my great privilege and honor to lead and work with the Bridgestone Americas team. However, there are still some avenues I’d like to explore, both personally and professionally, and leaving now gives me time to pursue those opportunities.”
Garfield noted that he and his wife plan to remain in Nashville, and they look forward to the opportunity to spend more time with their two new grandchildren.