Goodyear has announced that Samir Gibara (64) will resign as chairman at the end of June. He will be succeeded by Robert Keegan (55), who is currently president and CEO and who will retain responsibility for these two roles. Gibara joined Goodyear in 1964 and has been chairman since July 1996. He paid tribute to the speed with which Keegan learned the industry and demonstrated his leadership abilities. For his part, Keegan said that Gibara had provided important and valued counsel since Keegan joined Goodyear in October 2000 as president and COO.
Within less than a week our office has obtained eight links giving access to an electronic letter from Sam Gibara to all Goodyear associates. Gibara restated that as from the 1st January, Bob Keegan has taken over as CEO and that he remains as Chairman of the Group. Gibara looked back at the past year which he described as marked by wins throughout Goodyears world and he speaks of foundations established for future success and of opportunities seized, none of which would have been possible without the associates support. He adds, You are making a difference and our company will prevail because of you.With a degree of bitterness some of these associates said that Gibara had ultimately missed the opportunity to explain why the company is in such deep water. They point to the fact that Gibara has never shown any sign of admitting have made mistakes himself. Instead, it was always the economy, the environment, the exchange rate, the high costs of raw materials and so on. However, he has not convinced the associates, many of whom feel that it is a big mistake to play down big problems. The staff is willing to fight, but needs guidance. If indeed the company has the best brands, great distribution and the best people, why then is the company fighting with its back to the wall whilst its big competitors are making money?
The chief executive of Australian joint venture Ansell-Goodyear has departed suddenly, with no reason given. Rob McEniry is regarded as the main force behind the renaissance of South Pacific Tyres, in which Ansell-Goodyear has a 50 per cent stake, consolidating to two manufacturing sites and taking out A$85 million of annual costs. SPT is moving towards profitability and an Ansell spokesman was confident that McEnirys departure would not adversely affect the reconstruction programme.
Fiat: Fresco Remains Chairman, Barberis Is New CEO
At a Fiat board meeting last Friday it was decided that Paolo Fresco will remain as chairman of the company, while former general director A. Barberis will become the new CEO. This was despite the fact that the Agnelli family (which owns 34 per cent of the group) and Mediobanca, the investment bank, wanted to replace Mr. Fresco with a new chairman, Enrico Bondi. They were blocked by a combination of creditor banks and institutional shareholders.
Robert J. Keegan (55), Goodyears president and chief operating officer, has also been appointed chief executive officer of the company, effective from January 1st. He takes over from Sam Gibara (63), who will remain as chairman for an unspecified period - in this capacity, he will advise and assist Keegan and other senior managers as they assume responsibility for day-to-day management of the company. Keegan joined Goodyear from Eastman Kodak two years ago, during which time he has, says Gibara, gained an impressive understanding of the industry and is now fully prepared to take the company forward. Keegans contract included a clause whereby he would receive compensation of several million Dollars if he was not appointed to the position of CEO by October next year.
The former high-ranking Michelin manager Carlos Ghosn has been officially appointed CEO of Nissan. De facto Ghosn has already been playing this role for months. The move is seen as an attempt to bind Ghosn to Nissan.
Hayes Lemmerz Int. appointed Curtis J. Clawson as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. In connection with Clawsons appointment, Ranko Ron Cucuz, the Companys Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, will remain as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Most recently, Clawson was President and Chief Operating Officer of American National Can Group, a $2.5 billion NYSE traded manufacturing company, which was acquired by Rexam PLC.
Is It likely That The Ford-Family Will Fire CEO Nasser?
An article in a German daily newspaper (Ford, a terribly nice family) speculates that CEO Nasser might be fired in the near future. Under his guidance Ford has suffered several recalls of newly launched cars because of quality problems. Furthermore the Ford-family is not happy with the public dispute between Ford and Firestone, says the newspaper.
Stephan Kessel, Continental’s CEO: A Separation On Friendly Terms
Someone who acquires a seat at the top, and even reaches the CEO position at Continental, will neither be fired nor will he just quit. There is what is called a separation on friendly terms. The question whether Kessel and von Grünberg could ever have been friends is not even relevant. Whoever thinks that von Grünberg just shrugged and happily retired to some comptroller’s position will find out that he was wrong. Von Grünberg is the type of man who may occasionally loosen the handcuffs, writes a German daily newspaper, but he also tightens them again. His thumb pointed downwards, and that gesture determined Kessel’s future, and the whole board went along, including the banker Weiss.
CEO of the Continental Board, Dr. Stephan Kessel (47), has resigned and left the company. The Supervisory Board announced his successor as Manfred Wennemer (53). Wennemer was formerly responsible for the ContiTech division.
Covisint, the motor manufacturer led on-line marketplace, has announced the appointment of Kevin English as its first Chief Executive Officer. English comes from Credit Suisse First Boston, where he held the post of managing director and CEO of e-commerce. The appointment should give Covisint the impetus and direction to attain its potential as the leading on-line marketplace for the automotive trade, in particular for the supply of OE equipment and services.
New Chairman And CEO Of Bridgestone/Firestone Europe
Mr Shoshi Arakawa has been appointed chairman and chief executive officer (CEO) of Bridgestone/Firestone Europe (BFE). He succeeds Mr Takeshi Uchiyama, who retires and returns to Japan after leading BFE for the last three years.
In his statement to senators in the USA, Bridgestone/Firestone chairman and chief executive Mr. Masatoshi Ono apologised to the families who have lost loved ones in these terrible rollover accidents. This was interpreted by some as an attempt to put some responsibility on to the vehicle, rather than the tyres alone. Fords chief executive, Jacques Nasser, is reported to have said later that the issue is to do with tyres and not vehicles.
John T. Lampe, Executive Vice President of Bridgestone/Firestone Inc., has been made Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President of the American company. He joined Bridgestone/Firestone in 1973 and has a wealth of international experience with the company. Lampe succeeds Masatoshi Ono (63), who has been with Bridgestone for 41 years, having spent the last ten years in the US and the last seven as CEO. He immediately announced a three-point action plan with the aim of accelerating the tyre recall, assembling a new management team and creating new methods of collecting and examining performance data. His appointment follows personal intervention in the crisis by Yoichiro Kaizaki, Chief Executive Officer of the parent company Bridgestone Corporation. Fuller details in the November issue of TYRES & ACCESSORIES.