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Bridgestone appoints new CEO and COO as Thomas Schmidt announces departure

Bridgestone has appointed Jan-Maarten de Vries and Michiel Wesseling to lead its Bridgestone Mobility Solutions (BMS) business unit from 1 January 2021.

Jan-Maarten de Vries will become CEO of the Bridgestone Mobility Solutions (BMS) business unit

The two step up to their new roles as Bridgestone announces the departure of Thomas Schmidt, the co-founder of its Webfleet Solutions business, which was previously TomTom Telematics and acquired by Bridgestone in 2019 under its diversification into a mobility provider.

Schmidt will leave his role as CEO and managing director of the BMS business unit at the end of this year to pursue a new venture outside of Bridgestone, details of which have not been announced yet.

Replacing him, 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. Prior to joining Bridgestone, De Vries worked in global strategic and marketing leadership roles with WABCO, TomTom and Philips.

Michiel Wesseling, who will become BMS’s chief operating officer

He’s joined by 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.

Bridgestone EMIA CEO Laurent Dartoux said of the changes: “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 repraesent 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.”

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Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for nearly 20 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day.