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Bridgestone makes leadership appointments for mobility solutions unit

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

Michiel Wesseling (L) and Jan-Maarten de Vries

Thomas Schmidt, the co-founder of Webfleet, will be leaving Bridgestone and his role as CEO and managing director of the BMS business unit at the end of this year.

Schmidt led Webfleet Solutions – formerly known as TomTom Telematics – to become Europe’s leading telematics business. In early 2019, the business was acquired by Bridgestone as a major milestone on its journey to become a leader in sustainable mobility.

In the time since then, Schmidt has been instrumental in the successful integration of the two businesses and the creation and leadership of BMS, which is now responsible for Bridgestone’s growing digital mobility solutions business.

Bridgestone says Schmidt will be leaving the firm to pursue a new venture: sharing his experience and inspiration with young entrepreneurs and start-ups. In his place, Jan-Maarten de Vries, who joined Bridgestone in July as VP Data Solutions & Innovations, one of the four business lines within BMS, will become CEO of the business unit.

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

Joining De Vries is Michiel Wesseling, who will become BMS’s chief operating officer – a newly-created role responsible for the operational aspects of the business including its supporting functions. Wesseling has spent the last 11 years of his career at Webfleet Solutions, of which more than eight were spent as VP Finance & Operations.

Commenting on this announcement, Bridgestone EMIA CEO Laurent Dartoux said: “Thomas has had an incredible impact on not only Webfleet Solutions or Bridgestone, but mobility in general throughout his long career in our industry. 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. Our pipeline of in-house talent has once again been put to excellent use.”