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Bridgestone Europe Names New CEO and COO

Sep, 17 2011

Bridgestone Europe NV/SA (BSEU) today announced senior management appointments effective January 1, 2012.

Franco Annunziato, currently BSEU’s Chief Quality Officer, Senior Vice President Technology and Member of the Board of BSEU, will become CEO and President of BSEU, succeeding Makio (Mac) Ohashi. The company also announced that Mitsuhira (Mike) Shimazaki, currently BSEU’s Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing, will assume the newly created role of Chief Operating Officer (COO) reporting to Mr. Annunziato. In his new role as COO, the Sales and Marketing organizations will continue to report to Mr. Shimazaki and he will assume additional responsibility for Manufacturing and Supply Chain Management.

Mr. Annunziato, who also serves as Vice President and Officer of Bridgestone Corporation, BSEU’s parent company, will relocate from the company’s Rome-based Technical Center to BSEU’s headquarters in Brussels on January 2, 2012. In order to assure a smooth transition to his new role, Mr. Annunziato will be elected Vice Chairman of the Board of BSEU effective November 16, 2011 and will serve in that position until he assumes his new responsibilities as CEO and President.

Mr. Ohashi, who has served as BSEU’s CEO and President since March, 2010 will return to Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corporation as its Vice President and Officer, responsible for Asia Pacific, China, Middle East, Africa and Russia Tire Business Operations effective January 1, 2012, reporting to Asahiko Nishiyama, Vice President and Senior Officer Responsible for International Tire Business Operations.

In commenting on the new assignments, Asahiko Nishiyama, Chairman of the Board of BSEU, stated, “On behalf of the management and employees of BSEU I would like to thank Mac for his leadership and we wish him much success in his new assignment in Tokyo. I am also very pleased to welcome Franco and Mike to their new roles at BSEU. The new management team -- Franco as CEO teamed with Mike as COO -- is clearly a perfect combination for the company. Both of these leaders have extensive experience with BSEU, with each having complementary expertise that will create great synergies, especially as we move into the future and undertake new and innovative strategic approaches to our business. These appointments are also entirely in line with our direction of enhancing Corporate Governance and increasing the diversity of the Bridgestone group’s management team.”

Bridgestone is committed to enhancing the global management structure of its worldwide operations in balance with responsible and consistent Corporate Governance systems. BSEU has also been focusing on its governance systems by reinforcing the function of the Board and its Supervisory Councils.