Apr 25, 2024

TBC Corporation Promotes Don Byrd to President and Chief Executive Officer

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Contact - TBC CorporationTBC Corporation (“TBC”), a leader in the mobility industry and one of North America’s largest marketers of automotive replacement tires through wholesale and franchise operations, announced today the company’s new president and chief executive officer, Don Byrd.

TBC Corporation (TBC) is one of North America’s largest marketers of automotive replacement tires through wholesale and franchise operations. TBC serves wholesale customers in the United States, Canada and Mexico through TBC Brands, NTW, TBC International, and TBC de Mexico. Additionally, TBC responds to the needs of consumers in search of total car care at more than 2,400 franchised and licensed tire and automotive service centers under the Big O Tires® and Midas® brands.

Don Byrd, who currently serves as TBC’s chief strategy and marketing officer, will replace Sam Kato, effective May 1. Kato, who was appointed to position TBC for growth and evolution, will return to Sumitomo, one of TBC’s shareholders. Byrd’s appointment by the TBC Board of Directors to president and chief executive officer is a natural transition for TBC and follows a strategic plan developed in collaboration with Kato.   

“Don Byrd has worked hand-in-hand with Sam and the other members of TBC’s executive leadership team to build out the company’s current winning strategy,” said Kei Kubota, TBC Corporation board member. “TBC is well-positioned for continued growth, and we look forward to collaborating with Don to help propel the company to even greater heights. We are grateful for Sam’s exceptional leadership and dedication to TBC’s transformation, particularly over the past year, while serving as the company’s president and CEO.”

Profile photo of Don Byrd

Don Byrd

Byrd joined TBC in April 2018 as executive vice president, TBC and president & COO, National Tire Wholesale (NTW). He was soon named president, TBC purchasing and assumed additional responsibilities as chief marketing and strategy officer. Prior to joining TBC, Byrd served as the COO and president of Tire Centers Incorporated (TCi), LLC, one of the country’s leading tire service networks and a wholly owned subsidiary of Michelin North America, Inc. Before TBC and Michelin, he spent 19 years at Procter & Gamble in marketing and operations roles. 

Byrd said, “We appreciate Sam’s contributions to TBC and wish him continued success. Under Sam’s leadership, we built a strong foundation for the company, poised for growth. As CEO, I will continue to execute on this strategic vision. We are laser-focused on providing best-in-class solutions in the mobility and automotive industry and strengthening our wholesale and distribution, and franchise businesses, and keeping our stakeholders moving on the road ahead.” 

Sam Kato

Kato said, “I’ve thoroughly enjoyed these past three years, where I’ve had the privilege of working alongside a dynamic team here at TBC. I’m proud of the work we’ve accomplished together, and I’m confident Don will continue to drive TBC forward and build upon our success.”  

Kato is a 30-year veteran of global automotive businesses. Prior to his appointment as president and CEO of TBC, he served as a director of the board for TBC Corporation from 2015 until 2018 when he was leading transportation businesses for Sumitomo Corporation of Americas. As TBC’s first chief administrative officer, Kato maintained responsibility for legal and compliance, human resources, IT, digital, corporate strategy and communications. Kato was an instrumental part of the Sumitomo leadership team that formed a strategic 50/50 joint venture with Michelin North America, Inc., in 2018 to create the current TBC Corporation.  

For more information, visit tbccorp.com.