I would like to convey my thanks to all of our shareholders for their support of the Bridgestone Group.
Changes in the business environment of the Group are proceeding at a faster pace and on a larger scale than ever before, and we recognize that turbulent times persist. In such an environment, we have continuously based all activities on our corporate philosophy and implemented management reforms to achieve our ultimate goal of becoming a truly global company and achieving Dan-Totsu in all aspects of our business.
In 2018, the Group strengthened the framework of its corporate philosophy and global CSR commitment by formulating and introducing three new policies (Global Sustainable Procurement Policy, Global Human Rights Policy, and Bridgestone Code of Conduct). By more clearly demonstrating the Group’s principles to diverse stakeholders and by putting them into practice, we strive to create customer value and social value.
The year 2018 was a great milestone for the Group, having marked the 50th year since the establishment of our company motto and the receiving of the Deming Prize, which inspired us to embark on the modernization of our operations. Additionally, 2018 was brought the 30th anniversary year since the acquisition of Firestone, a major stride toward globalization. With these important events, we revisited our origins and reconfirmed our corporate DNA, a precious inheritance for the future. Also in 2018, the year in which the first Olympic Winter Games were held since Bridgestone became a Worldwide Olympic Partner, Bridgestone became a Worldwide Paralympic Partner.
Throughout our business, we continue to focus on the following three priority issues.
1. Cultivating global corporate culture: Advance brand strategy, innovation, continuous improvement (Kaizen)
2. Developing human resources capable of global management: Advance the development and promotion of diverse talent
3. Upgrading the global management structure: Enhancing governance systems, reinforcing the Diversified Products business
It is important to mention also that the Group transitioned to a new management structure in January 2019 intended to achieve the following three goals: 1) Accelerate the adoption and operationalization of our Management Reforms, 2) Facilitate the “Generation Change” necessary to ensure the sustainability of the Bridgestone Group, including developing a robust succession plan, and 3) Strengthen our ability to take full advantage of the opportunities presented by our participation as a Worldwide Olympic and Paralympic Partner during the Olympic and Paralympic Games Tokyo 2020, including enhancing our global brand reputation. Aiming to move to a higher level, the new structure will steadily promote management reform as a global management team.
I would greatly appreciate our shareholders for their continued support and encouragement in the years ahead.
Chairman of the Board
CEO and Representative Executive Officer