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New CEO, COO to lead Bridgestone Mobility Solutions

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New Bridgestone Mobility Solutions CEO Jan-Maarten de Vries (left) and COO Michiel Wesseling.
New Bridgestone Mobility Solutions CEO Jan-Maarten de Vries (left) and COO Michiel Wesseling.

Global tyre manufacturer Bridgestone has appointed Jan-Maarten de Vries and Michiel Wesseling as CEO and COO of its Bridgestone Mobility Solutions (BMS) business unit, effective 1 January 2021.

De Vries takes over from outgoing BMS CEO and MD Thomas Schmidt, who will leave at the end of the year.

Headquartered in Belgium, Bridgestone is a subsidiary of Japanese multinational auto and truck parts manufacturer Bridgestone Corporation, which provides sustainable mobility and advanced solutions.

BMS is the innovation arm of Bridgestone, offering fleet organisations mobility-as-a-service solutions, including intelligent tyre solutions, bus rapid transit and tyrematics – an IT system that uses sensors to measure the pressure and temperature of truck and bus tyres.

More than 20 years ago, Schmidt created and co-founded Webfleet Solutions, a telematics solutions firm for fleets, which has over 50 000 customers and presence in more than 100 countries.

In April 2019, Bridgestone acquired Webfleet Solutions, motivated by the company’s ambition to strengthen its digital capabilities, as part of its ongoing transformation from a tyre producer into a mobility solutions firm. Webfleet Solutions now forms part of BMS.

Schmidt will leave Bridgestone to pursue a new venture: sharing his experience and inspiration with young entrepreneurs and start-ups.

In his new position as CEO of the business unit, De Vries, who joined Bridgestone in July as VP of data solutions and innovations, will also oversee Webfleet Solutions.

Before joining Bridgestone, De Vries worked in global strategic and marketing leadership roles with tech firms WABCO, TomTom and Philips.

Wesseling, who will become BMS’s COO – a newly-created role – will be responsible for the operational aspects of the business, including its supporting functions.

He has spent the last 11 years of his career at Webfleet Solutions, of which more than eight were as VP of finance and operations.

By appointing a strong team of complementary leaders to replace Schmidt, Bridgestone says it will ensure business continuity, as well as the reinforcement of the current strategy and the accelerated introduction of new concepts.

“Thomas has had an incredible impact on not only Webfleet Solutions or Bridgestone, but mobility in general throughout his long career in our industry,” says Bridgestone EMIA CEO Laurent Dartoux.

“He is a true pioneer, whose energy, network and expertise are unrivalled. He will be missed, but I know he will be of huge benefit to the young entrepreneurs out there. Jan-Maarten and Michiel are two experienced and driven leaders who represent a new era for Bridgestone Mobility Solutions in a very important time for digital mobility.”

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