By Denna Bowman
Goodyear tyres have appointed a new chief executive officer to steer the company out of the global downturn.
Richard Kramer is set to replace Robert Keegan, who will relinquish the position but remain chairman of the largest US-based tyres manufacturer.
The 46-year-old, who was appointed as Goodyear’s chief operating officer in June, will take up his new post on 13th April.
The worldwide recession and an increase in foreign competition have put the tyre manufacturer under pressure, however Keegan is credited for intensifying the company’s commitment to developing and introducing new products.
He also cut higher-costing tyre-making jobs, shut underperforming plants and sold off noncore business units, including exiting farm-tire production in the U.S.
His biggest success is regarded as Goodyear’s decision to scale back production of low-end tyres to produce larger and more complex tyres generally bought by luxury and sport-utility vehicle owners. The move helped Goodyear bypass the economic slowdown that hurt most tyre producers.
Out-going CEO Keegan said: “Rich brings to the table a deep knowledge of Goodyear, our global markets, manufacturing, finance and technology, which will lead Goodyear to the next level. Our company will be in good hands.”