Earlier this year Bridgestone announced that it had embarked on the Bridgestone 3.0 journey toward realising its 2050 vision of delivering accelerated social and customer value as a sustainable solutions company. In order to achieve this vision, Bridgestone Southern Africa will establish a new management structure with an increased focus on distinct business portfolios: the core Tyre & Rubber business which includes premium consumer, commercial truck and bus, off the road, motorcycle and agriculture tyres; Bridgestone’s Retail services network including the Supa-Quick franchise; and, its Mining Solutions business with recently acquired Otraco. This split will enable Bridgestone to create new value according to the characteristics of each business for its customers.
This week it was announced that Jacques Fourie, currently CEO of Bridgestone Southern Africa, will take up the position of Vice President and Managing Director of the Middle East & Africa region. This position will oversee both the Bridgestone Southern Africa business, as well as the legacy Middle East & Africa business headquartered out of Dubai, thereby combining the two regions under the South African leader.
Since his joining Bridgestone in 2019, Fourie has been instrumental in turning around the business in Southern Africa, delivering on a culture change transformation that led to restored profitability, market share growth, certification as a Top Employer, a BBB-EE level 1 contributor, and the acquisition of the mining solutions company Otraco into Bridgestone EMIA.
Commenting on the recent announcements Jacques Fourie said “I am deeply grateful and very humbled by this new opportunity to take on broader responsibility in Bridgestone and to add value to our great organisation. Three years ago, we embarked on a business transformation journey for the Southern African business. With the commitment and dedication of my exceptional leadership team, the hard work of all employees and the unwavering support of our valued customers, channel partners and franchisees, we have together achieved incredible results.”
Whilst Fourie will remain responsible for the Bridgestone Southern Africa Holdings Group, he will hand over responsibility for Bridgestone Southern Africa’s three business units to respective Managing Directors. Today, leadership changes in the core Tyre & Rubber (Wholesale) business are being announced.
From January 2023, Bridgestone Southern Africa (BSAF) is proud to appoint Jacques Rikhotso, current Operations Director, as Managing Director of the South Africa Wholesale Business. BSAF’s Wholesale Businessis the seat of its local Manufacturing, Operations and Sales organisations.
“As a proud local manufacturer we look to the future with hope and I am thrilled to hand the reigns over for our Wholesale business to Jacques Rikhotso whose dedication to our Bridgestone family and his passion for delivering with excellence I know will take the business on to even greater heights. I look forward to continuing to support him, and the South Africa team, from my new position”, says Fourie.
Jacques Rikhotso joined Bridgestone in 2018 as Manufacturing Director responsible for the Bridgestone Plant facilities across South Africa and has risen through the organisation to Operations Director responsible for Bridgestone Southern Africa’s Manufacturing and Re-Tread Plants, Logistics and Supply Chain Management, and the company’s Sustainability agenda. In this broader role Rikhotso has delivered significant capital expansions in Brits Plant to improve quality and performance and output; implemented operational efficiencies in forecasting, planning and logistics through digital tools; and a key player in transitioning Bridgestone from legacy Maxipres re-tread brands to Bridgestone Premium brand Bandag (Bridgestone’s Global Re-tread company); and, improved customer centricity and service to our customers.
“I joined Bridgestone at a time of organisational transformation followed shortly by the pandemic period which necessitated that we were more dynamic in every aspect of our business operations. As I take up this new role, I don’t expect this to change – we will still need to be an organisation that continuously improves, continuously transforms, continuously invests in our people, is dynamic and agile as we continue to build a more sustainable business that provides leading sustainable mobility solutions to our customers. In my position as Operations Director, engaging with customers and our sales team in the field, I have gained great insight into what our customers require from Bridgestone and how we might serve them better. The Sales organisation has done very well over this period to reconfigure the mix of our offering, to open our sales to the broader network of retailers and to turnaround our business to deliver profitable growth. It gives me a lot of confidence to join them and to lead the Bridgestone Wholesale business into an exciting future,” says Rikhotso.