Mission “successfully completed”? The Goodyear-Cooper integration and its contradictions
When Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. announced at the end of January that 500 jobs are being cut worldwide and linked this to business performance in the EMEA (Europe Middle East and Africa) region (see “Goodyear reports losses of $104 million in Q4 2022, points the finger at Europe”, T&A 3/2022, page 18), executives were effectively acknowledging the significant pressures facing the business. When Goodyear published its full-year 2022 and fourth quarter 2022 figures a few days later, the red numbers highlighted the pressing reality of those problems. Within that broad picture, it now seems clear that the US$2.8 billion Cooper takeover initiated two years ago has not yet brought the promised return, something Goodyear’s market capitalisation and the relative profitability of its competitors neatly illustrate. Meanwhile, some within Goodyer refer to the integration as “successfully completed”, but without offering details. In other words, the supposed success of the Goodyear-Cooper integration doesn’t match the company’s sub-par financial performance. With that in mind, here we take a pan-European look at those particularly contradictory perspectives.