Nashville, Tennessee – Bridgestone Americas is making a number of leadership changes within its technology, manufacturing and procurement operations.
Six managers are moving up to take over key positions. They include:
Rioji Hirokawa, executive director of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LA manufacturing for South America;
Dave Abdallah, executive director of Process Engineering Development;
Jim Kozy, vice president, Bridgestone Americas Center for Research & Technology;
Jeff Henegar, director of technical planning at the Americas Technical Center;
Mitchel Kritzell, director of commercial tire development at the Americas Technical Center; and
Jamie McNutt, director of compounding at Bridgestone Americas Product Development.
Hirokawa most recently served as general manager of manufacturing for Bridgestone Latin America. He began his career with Bridgestone Brazil in 1996 as an engineer at the firm’s Santo Andre plant. He also has served as a plant manager.
Abdallah joined the company at the Americas Technical Center in 1997 and has held various product development positions, including manager of two materials development departments. He also led an 18-month single, non-core innovation project reporting to the company’s corporate headquarters.
Kozy started his career with Bridgestone in 1981 as a process engineer for commercial tires. Since then, he has been involved in compound development for commercial and consumer tires, as well as raw material development. He transitioned to management in 1994 and has held several posts since then, including director of compound development and laboratories.
Most recently Henegar served as director of research and development for Firestone Building Products. He joined Bridgestone as a junior engineer in 1991. He served as division manager for strategic business development and helped Firestone Building Products enter the renewable energy market by creating a new division—Firestone Energy Solutions.
Kritzell started working for Bridgestone in 2001 and most recently served as director of TBR tire development. He has overseen teams at the Americas Technical Centre, the North America Manufacturing and Engineering in LaVergne, Tenn., and the South America Engineering Offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil. He also has served as manager of OE tire development.
McNutt joined Bridgestone in 1993 as a junior chemist working in the raw materials area. She most recently was manager of Consumer Replacement Tire and has served as section manager for the Consumer Structural Development group and manager of consumer replacement tire development.