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Hara prepares to replace Sano at Bridgestone/Firestone

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Hank Hara, divisional vice president of technology planning for Bridgestone/Firestone North American Tire LLC (BFNT), will replace Shigehisa Sano as executive vice president of product development in early March.

Sano will be returning to Tokyo-based Bridgestone Corp. to assume new responsibilities as vice president, research and development, and technology.

"He has contributed to building our strong competitive advantage in the area of tire development and we are sorry to see him leave," says Mark Emkes, chairman, CEO and president of BFNT.

In his new position, Sano also will be responsible for managing Bridgestone's global intellectual properties for both the tire and the non-tire businesses.

Hara officially will be promoted to executive vice president, tire development and technology, on March 1. On the same day, he also will be elected to the board of directors of both BFNT and Bridgestone Americas Holding Inc.

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