Firestone's Rough Road

Facing the wrath of Congress and the public, can the tiremaker survive?

Watching Masatoshi Ono, CEO of Bridgestone/Firestone, sweat under the nasty glare of Congress during last week's tire-recall hearings, you almost had to feel sorry for the reserved Japanese executive. Ono, a lifelong company man and engineering whiz who joined Bridgestone straight out of university more than 40 years ago, has spent the better part of the past decade propping up the sagging fortunes of Firestone, the U.S. company Bridgestone paid $2.6 billion for in 1988. Now here he was, the prime suspect in the the biggest consumer scare since the Tylenol-tampering case, linked to at least 88 deaths and 250 injuries...

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