AKRON Groupe Michelin has unveiled a corporate reorganization based on five fundamental objectives, foremost of which is decentralizing responsibilities to accelerate decision-making and enhance responsiveness to customers and markets. The changes will have a positive effect on Michelin North America and its customers, a company spokesman said.
Cautioning that ``changes of attitudes and habits will have to take place,'' Groupe Michelin Chairman Francois Michelin told employees and shareholders that management intends to implement the corporate overhaul ``very rapidly.''
``We are at a crucial point in our history'' Mr. Michelin said, citing increased global competition and constantly shifting market demands. ``That's why I consider this reorganization essential to ensure the group a future of progress and innovation into the next century.''
The company will reorganize into: nine strategic business units, each focusing on a specific product line; 11 group services to handle administrative functions; four geographic zones responsible for coordination of activities geographically; and a technology center for worldwide product development.
The firm said the new structure, which decentralizes responsibilities, will support growth and pursuit of new markets, become more responsive, accelerate decision-making and research, and increase profits in all sectors.
A key aspect of the decentralized management structure is the creation of a nine-member executive council that will assist the managing partner troika-Francois and Edouard Michelin and Rene Zingraff-in establishing the company's direction in the coming years.
Michelin North America, based in Greenville, S.C., will become one of the four geographic zones, responsible for the North and Central American markets. Its business divisions, including Michelin Americas Small Tires (MAST) and Michelin Americas Truck Tires (MATT), will be called ``tactical operating units,'' the company said.
Carlos Ghosn, president and CEO of Michelin North America, will become the member of the executive council, heading the worldwide passenger and light truck strategic business unit. He retain's his title in the U.S. and will remain in Greenville for ``an indefinite period,'' a spokesman said.
Jim Micali, formerly executive vice president, legal and finance, has become executive vice president of Michelin North America in charge of the North and Central American geographic zone.
Reporting to Mr. Micali as executive vice presidents of the company's operating units are:
John Grimaldi, COO of the original equipment operating unit (MAID). Mr. Grimaldi had been a plant manager in Dothan, Ala.;
John Rice, COO of MATT, was plant manager in Waterville, Nova Scotia;
Pete Selleck, COO of MAST/Flag Brands, was vice president, Michelin tire manufacturing; and
Philippe Verneuil, COO of MAST/Private Brands, was vice president of Uniroyal Goodrich tire manufacturing.
Messrs. Selleck and Verneuil will take on the duties formerly held by MAST President and COO Dave Schaub, who retired and is remaining with the company in an advisory role.