John Nevin Dies
John Nevin, the former CEO of Firestone, died suddenly on Tuesday at his home in Illinois. He was 79.
Nevin was brought in to try to revitalise an ailing Firestone in 1979. One of his major initiatives was to move the company’s headquarters from Akron to Chicago in 1987. He also masterminded the sale of Firestone to the Bridgestone Corporation in 1988.
When Nevin joined Firestone, the company was losing up to $250 million a year and he embarked on a radical programme of closing plants and drastically cutting staff numbers. Under his stewardship, Firestone’s workforce fell from around 115,000 to 50,000. Most industry pundits accept that Nevin had little choice other than to carry out his cost-cutting surgery if Firestone was to survive, but some are still bitter at the memory. In the Akron Beacon Journal, former United Rubber Workers Union President Mike Stone said that many in Akron will remember Nevin as “the guy who closed a whole bunch of plants.”
John Nevin retired as Chairman of Firestone in 1990. He is survived by his widow Anne and seven children.