Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand has appointed Heath Barclay as Managing Director, effective January 2022, following Stephen Roche’s retirement in December.
Barclay is currently Sales Director at Bridgestone Australia and has held numerous positions in New Zealand and Australia. He was originally a part-time fitter at his local Firestone store in the regional New Zealand town of Dannevirke, having started his career while finishing high school.
In 1994, Barclay joined full time as the store’s manager and attracted the attention of Bridgestone NZ (then Firestone) and was offered a management cadet role in 1996.
Within Bridgestone NZ, Barclay climbed the ranks, working in roles within marketing, consumer business and general management. In 2013 he relocated to Australia as the Group General Manager of Retail and Marketing, then served as Associate Director Sales & Marketing and as a new member of the board, before becoming Sales Director in 2017.
As Bridgestone continues its evolution towards its global mid-to-long-term business strategy announced in 2020, Barclay is enthusiastic to lead the company through what will be a significant era.
“Last year the global strategy for Bridgestone 3.0 was announced, and since then we have been laying the foundations to execute this strategy, and I’m honoured to be presented with the opportunity and responsibility of leading Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand through this period,” Barclay said.
“It’s no secret that I’m passionate about this company having spent half my life working for Bridgestone. As a business, we have significant plans, and we have a great team to bring them to life and realise our mid-long-term strategy.”
Roche will retire at the end of the year following a three-and-a-half-year tenure at the tyre company. His time in the role saw the acquisition and integration of Lube Mobile into the Bridgestone business, the launch of the global strategy and steering the business through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Stephen Roche played a significant role in laying the foundations for Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand’s future over the past few years and personally, I’ve enjoyed working with him immensely. He’s left big shoes to fill, and I’m looking forward to this challenge,” Barclay said.
According to Roche, Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand’s future looks bright, and Barclay is the ideal candidate to see the business through the next phase of its evolution towards a mobility solutions provider.
“This is a fantastic result for our business and for Heath,” Roche said. “He’s passionate about the company, understands the future direction and no doubt will drive the Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand team towards realising our global and local goals. I have full confidence that I am stepping down at the end of the year for the right person to drive the future success of Bridgestone.
“I like to think that I have been the lucky one and have enjoyed my time with Bridgestone – a company with great people and an exciting future.”
Bridgestone Australia & New Zealand is part of the Bridgestone China and Asia Pacific (BSCAP) region structure, and Barclay will report to COO Asia Pacific, Agustin Pedroni, in the Managing Director role.
Pedroni echoed Roche’s sentiment about the future of Bridgestone ANZ and thanked him for his contribution to the business.
“BSCAP would like to thank Stephen for his relentless drive in leading the ANZ team towards delivering the financial, operational and strategic targets that were established, and we wish him well in his retirement,” Pedroni said.
“Heath is a committed and trusted professional, and the right leader to take BSANZ into the next level of its evolution. We will support Heath in achieving success in his new role,” he added.