Commentary: What Japan's Ce Os Can Learn From Bridgestone

Bridgestone chief Yoichiro Kaizaki has never been one to bow out when the going gets tough. Immediately after the Japanese tiremaker took over money-losing Firestone Tire & Rubber Co. in 1988, General Motors cut its long supplier relationship with Firestone. A few years later, Firestone was hit with a 28-month strike over Kaizaki's bid to lengthen work shifts and tie pay to productivity. Kaizaki never flinched. He broke the strike by bringing in 2,000 replacement workers, restored Firestone to profitability by slashing costs, and ended up in GM's good graces again in 1995 when it was named the carmaker's supplier of the year.

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