FINDLAY, Ohio-As Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. reported record third-quarter sales and earnings (see page 4), the Findlay-based tire maker's chairman and CEO since 1989, Ivan W. Gorr, announced his retirement. Mr. Gorr, 65, stepped down Oct. 15 in accordance with company policy and succession plans, turning over the helm to President Patrick Rooney.
Mr. Rooney, who began his career at Cooper as a sales trainee in 1956, will serve as chairman, president and CEO. Mr. Gorr will remain on the board of directors.
Meanwhile, John Fahl will assume the duties of president, tire operations, from Mr. Rooney and continue as a corporate vice president. Mr. Fahl's former position as vice president of purchasing will be filled later, a spokesman said.
Messrs. Rooney and Fahl are both longtime company veterans who have worked closely together in the past, observed Harry Millis, an analyst with Fundamental Research Inc. in Cleveland. As a result, Mr. Millis said he doesn't foresee any ``noticeable difference'' in Cooper's operations.
Mr. Rooney, 59, became president of tire operations and a director in 1990 and was named corporate president and COO the following year. He previously served in a variety of positions, including vice president of marketing for tire operations.
Mr. Fahl, 58, is a 39-year veteran with Cooper, holding positions in technical, manufacturing and transportation before joining the purchasing operations in 1962, where he became responsible for worldwide sourcing functions for the company. He became vice president of purchasing in 1978 and was named a director in 1992.
Both men oversee an operation that has prospered in recent years as other major tire makers struggled with financial losses and overcapacity.
``Under Ivan's leadership, our company prospered and reached record performance levels as a tough competitor in a tough industry,'' Mr. Rooney said of the retired chairman.
An accountant, Mr. Gorr joined Cooper in 1972 as corporate controller. He rose to president in 1982, and to CEO and chairman in 1989.
Mr. Millis said that, in addition to a successful strategy implemented by Mr. Gorr and former Cooper President William Fitzgerald, Mr. Gorr's financial background was ``instrumental in keeping Cooper lean and mean.''