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The Intersection of Changing Mobility and Innovation in the Tire Industry

Steve Charles
Vice President, Product Development, Bridgestone Americas, Inc.


The future of mobility is being redefined, and the way the people work, live and interact is changing. Increased urbanization, a growing sharing economy and evolving demographics are just a few of the global macro-trends impacting mobility preferences. Steve Charles, Vice President of Product Development for Bridgestone Americas, will examine the tire and rubber industry’s role in navigating this era of rapid change and outline how Bridgestone plans to address emerging needs through innovation and new technology.


With more than 35 years of service to Bridgestone Americas, Inc., Steve Charles has served in his current position as Vice President, Product Development since September 2013. In this role, Charles leads the Americas Technical Center and is responsible for all research and development activities in the Americas.

Charles joined Firestone Tire & Rubber Company in 1981 as a Junior Engineer in the Commercial Development Department. He continued his support of product engineering in increasing roles of responsibility in multiple departments including both consumer and commercial tires, original equipment passenger and light truck, and agriculture, off-the-road, and truck and bus tires. Most recently, he served as the Director, Commercial Tire Development.

Charles holds a bachelor’s degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Charles has served as Board President for Junior Achievement and is currently on the board of directors for the United Way of Summit County, Greater Akron Chamber, and the Golf Championship Council.