Harbel, Liberia, West Africa – April 2019 – Firestone Liberia has announced changes to its in-country leadership team effective May 1, 2019. Don Darden, currently Vice President of Administration, has been named General Manager in addition to his current role, and will be relocating to Liberia. He takes over from Firestone Liberia’s current General Manager and Vice President of Operations, Tod Knopp, who will return to Nashville where he will continue to help lead operations.
In Don’s expanded role, he will be responsible for the core, day-to-day operations on the ground in Liberia, while leading and support the key human resources, social services, government relations, legal and communications groups for the business.
Don joined Bridgestone in 1995 and has held numerous roles in sales, marketing and communications in support of Firestone Liberia’s operations for the past 10 years. Tod and Don will continue serving as Firestone Liberia officers and on the board of managers as vice presidents of operations and administration, respectively, as announced in August 2018.
As the largest private employer in the country, employing 6,656 people (99.7% of whom are Liberian), Firestone Liberia is committed to developing local knowledge and talent. In what is the newest promotion, Firestone is proud to announce that from March 1, 2019, Christina Devine has taken on the role of Factory Quality Supervisor.
“In the cycle of any business, leadership changes are inevitable as people move around to take on new responsibilities, and we’ll continue benefiting from Tod’s leadership,” says Don Darden, Firestone Liberia’s incoming general manager. “But we’re also excited about the positive progress on a local level and the talent that we see coming through the ranks. We look forward to keep growing our local employees into key positions within the company.”
About Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC:
Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC traces its origins back to 1926 when The Firestone Tire & Rubber Company first established a natural rubber production facility in Liberia, West Africa. The company operates a 118,000-acre rubber growing and processing facility, employing approximately 6,000 teammates who harvest and process natural rubber. After processing, the natural rubber is shipped to Bridgestone Americas’ tire plants in North America for the manufacture of tires. Firestone Natural Rubber Company, LLC is a subsidiary of Bridgestone Americas, Inc.