Joe Venezia will lead Bridgestone's retail efforts at its 2,200-plus company-owned stores.

Joe Venezia will lead Bridgestone's retail efforts at its 2,200-plus company-owned stores.

The 2,200-plus retail stores owned and operated by Bridgestone Americas Inc. have a new leader. Joe Venezia is the president of Bridgestone Retail Operations LLC (BSRO) effective June 19, 2017. Venezia replaces Stu Crum, who served as president of Bridgestone's retail stores from August 2013 to October 2016. Damien Harmon has served as interim president since October.

"In recent years, BSRO has developed and executed a singular focus on driving operational excellence and delivering a consistent, world-class customer experience across our retail store network," says TJ Higgins, president of the North America integrated consumer tire group for Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations. "Joe's diverse retail and operational background will help us build upon our progress in those critical areas."

Venezia brings more than 20 years of consumer goods and retail experience to Bridgestone. He most recently served as executive vice president of global store operations at Toys"R"Us Inc. In that role, he was responsible for delivering an exceptional shopping experience across a retail network of more than 850 Toys"R"Us and Babies"R"Us stores in the U.S.

Venezia joined Toys"R"Us in 2014 as senior vice president of store operations.

Prior to Toys"R"Us, Venezia was senior vice president of operations and head of stores for The Pantry, an independently operated convenience store chain in the southeastern U.S. He also has held leadership positions with Walmart and Wells Fargo Merchant Services, and began his career as a brand manager at Procter & Gamble.

Venezia earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He served as an Airborne Ranger Officer in the U.S. Army Infantry for nine years.

Bridgestone's stores operate under the Firestone Complete Auto Care, Tires Plus, Hibdon Tires Plus and Wheel Works brands.