Eric Higgs is taking over the top spot of Bridgestone Americas Inc.'s truck, bus and retread tires business on Sept. 1, 2018. He'll replace Joseph Saoud as president.
Saoud was recently named president of Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO) Latin America. Higgs joined Bridgestone in 2016 and served as vice president of marketing for the BATO commercial group. As he moves up, Steve Sutherland, current executive director of sales, distribution and global accounts at Firestone Ag, will take over Higgs' role as vice president of marketing.
In his new role he will lead sales, distribution and integrated business planning for the commercial tire and retread business in North America. He also will oversee the development and delivery of new products, technologies and services for original equipment manufacturers, fleet customers and commercial tire dealers.
“This is a pivotal time for our industry as new technologies and data-driven platforms are impacting the way fleet owners and managers do business,” says Scott Damon, president of BATO's commercial group in the U.S. and Canada. “Eric has demonstrated his ability to anticipate these shifts and pioneer new ways to create value for our customers and dealers. His commitment to make mobility more efficient for fleet customers makes him the right person to take on the role of president, and I look forward to the development of the team under his leadership.”
Prior to joining Bridgestone, Higgs worked at Kimberly-Clark Corp. where he served as general manager for the hands and face category. He also spent 18 years at Procter & Gamble Co. in multiple marketing and manufacturing roles.
Higgs earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and has a master of business administration from Duke University.
Sutherland has more than 20 years of sales and leadership experience in the tire and rubber industry. He joined Bandag in 1998 as a sales manager and worked his way up in the organization as director of fleet sales, division manager and regional general manager. In 2011, he was promoted to director of sales, distribution and technical services for the Bridgestone commercial organization supporting the off-the-road, commercial truck tire and retread businesses.
Sutherland's job will be to lead the overarching marketing strategy for the commercial group. He'll have direct marketing oversight for the commercial truck, Bandag retread, OTR and Firestone Ag tire businesses.
Sutherland has a bachelor’s degree in international economics and earned his master of business administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
“Steve is a proven leader with a strong track record of success in the tire and rubber industry,” says Damon. “He is the right person to lead the commercial marketing organization at Bridgestone to advance our efforts to deliver innovative products, services and solutions that meet the needs of fleet customers and drive growth for our commercial tire dealers.”
For more information, visit www.BridgestoneAmericas.com.