As the oldest friction manufacturer in the world, TMD Friction [!tmd!] knows its industry. The company produces everything from disc brake pads and drum brake linings for everyday passenger and commercial vehicles, to brake pads for top racing cars and industrial applications such as for the wind turbines that generate clean energy.

TMD produces more than one million products per day in 15 production sites located in 12 different countries on five continents.

Following a 50-year relationship with the Japanese group Nisshinbo Holdings Inc, Nisshinbo acquired TMD from its private equity owners in late 2011. The CEO Magazine spoke to John Hudson, CEO and President of TMD, about that acquisition, the opportunities he saw when taking on the CEO role, the company’s commitment to being a leader in its chosen field, and what’s next for TMD.

The CEO Magazine: What key roles in your professional background have contributed to your leadership style now?

John: I’m a chartered accountant by background, having trained with what is now KPMG. Following a five-year period with KPMG, I then spent some 20 years in the chemical industry with ICI —now part of Akzo Nobel—and INEOS. I joined TMD in 2004 in the group CFO role as part of a restructuring of the senior management team by its private equity owners. Together with the new CEO, we led an operational and financial restructuring of the group, which ultimately led to the sale to Nisshinbo in November 2011. The seven years leading up to the Nisshinbo transaction included the very ‘exciting’ and challenging period through 2008 and 2009 where we all learned many new ‘life-critical’ skills, some of which we would rather not have learned!