100 Next-Era Leaders in Asia 2017-2018 -The region's best brightest, most promising-

Bridgestone

Member of the Board, CEO and Representative Executive Officer, Chairman of the Board Masaaki Tsuya

1952
Birthplace
Tokyo
Message to young people
Humans are not perfect, myself included. Society is not perfect either. Our lives are not programmed to automatically be happy. There will always be trouble and suffering in our lives. However, I think it is easier to overcome those difficulties if you recognize them as inevitable elements of our lives.

I was born in Tokyo in 1952. When I look back on my youth, I can see that I was an impertinent person. In 1984, I entered business school at the University of Chicago to enrich my business knowledge. I learned so much more than just academic knowledge and skills there. Frequent networking such as receptions and dinner parties helped my communication skills immensely, something that has been very helpful in my career even to this day.

40 years have passed since I joined Bridgestone after graduation. To tell the truth, I did not actually think that I would work as a company employee for such a long time. With a sense of arrogance and believing that I read many more books and deeply pondered a wider variety of issues than my peers since I was a student, I saw myself as someone too unique to work as an ordinary office worker. However, when I joined the company, I met people who were more talented, skilled and unique than I could have imagined. They made me feel that I am actually rather ordinary.

In 1988, I was involved in the acquisition of Firestone Inc., a major U.S. tire manufacturer. My desire to succeed in the project, which was described as the "second founding" of the company, was very strong. The period of deficit lasted several years after the acquisition. Sometimes the loss reached \100 million in one day. Even after returning to profitability, the numbers were far below sufficient contributions to the entire group for more than 20 years. It is only in the last few years that the profit became large enough to be counted as a proper contribution to the group.

I took the position of CEO in 2012. Since then I have set the goal of "aiming to become a truly global company." and “achieving dan-totsu (the clear leader) in all aspects of our business.” “Truly global company” means encouraging business development by giving authority to the group companies while maintaining the consistent strategy and policy as a group. "Glocal" is the word I use as a portmanteau of “global” and “local.” I believe it is very important to keep a good balance between those two factors.

I think the future task for our group is to try things that others cannot do easily. I would like to lead a company that can continue to be able to propose motivations such as reaching for the future faster than anyone else, and conquering challenging tasks that others cannot easily duplicate.

Company Profile

Name
Bridgestone
Headquarters
Tokyo
1931
employees
143,616(as of 2016 end)
business
Manufacturing and selling tires and other products.
url
http://www.bridgestone.co.jp/