Gavin Young

28th September 2018


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Full Name: Gavin Young

Position: CEO of Bridgestone

Main Activity of the Company: Tyre manufacturing

Date and Place of Birth: February 2, 1959

Education: BSc Eng Chemical (minerals processing), University of the Witwatersrand,1985; BCom, University of South Africa, 1990; MBA (project management), Henley Management College, UK, 2004

First Job: Counter sales on Saturday mornings at Dave Eagar’s hardware store, in Rosettenville, during high school

Career History Prior to Current Position: I have held senior leadership positions in South Africa, the UK and the US. These have included VP: operations at Nesmont Precious Metals Corp, in Canada; MD and process director of Johnson Matthey South Africa; regional projects director of Johnson Matthey plc, in the UK; procurement and project director of Johnson Matthey Inc, in the US; and MD of Jonhson Matthey South Africa (2004 to 2007), MD of Parsopns Brinckerhoff Africa (2008 to 2012), MD of Aveng E&PC (2012 to 2013) and MD of Aveng Engineering (2013 to 2016)

Size of First Pay Packet: I cannot remember exactly, but it was about R15 a month

First Job with Present Group: CEO

Value of Assets under Your Control: More than R3-billion

Number of People under Your Leadership: About 3 000

Management Style: It varies, depending on the circumstances, but I am most comfortable when collaborating with capable teams

Personal Best Achievement: Successfully completing my MBA dissertation while also relocating from the US back to South Africa

Professional Best Achievement: Developing a new manufacturing technology from bench-scale tests to constructing and commissioning a full-scale manufacturing plant based on the new technology in less than 12 months

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Life: My wife, Yvette

Person Who Has Had the Biggest Influence on Your Career: Peter Emmel, who was MD when I was appointed production director of Johnson Matthey South Africa

Person You Would Most Like to Meet: Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović, the Croatian Prime Minister, who travelled to the FIFA World Cup flying economy class at her own expense, watched many of the Croatian games from the non-VIP stands and hugged all the cup final players (winners and losers) in the rain

Businessperson Who Has Impressed You Most: Jack Welch with his turnaround capabilities

Philosophy of Life: Be alive and take advantage of all the opportunities you get

Biggest Ever Opportunity: Living and working overseas

Biggest Ever Disappointment: There are no regrets in life, just lessons

Hope for the Future: A more just and equitable society in South Africa

Favourite Reading: A mix of genres, but probably all the books written by JRR Tolkien

Favourite TV Programme: Weekend soccer

Favourite Food/Drink: Pasta and red wine

Favourite Music: Hard rock, 1970s and current bands

Favourite Sport: Soccer (still playing regularly)

Favourite Website: Amazon, for ebooks

Hobbies: Bush trips to remote areas with as many friends and family as I can persuade to join in

Car: Audi A6, but I also have a Honda CBR600 sports bike

Pets: Four dogs and one cat

Miscellaneous Dislikes: Wasting time in queues.

Favourite Other South African Company: Nando’s, for its branding and marketing

Favourite Foreign Company: Bennetton

Married: To Yvette

Children: James, 24; Graeme, 21; Timothy, 18

Clubs: The Greek Club in Linksfield, where I have been playing veterans soccer for the longest time

Edited by Martin Zhuwakinyu
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor



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