MUSCATINE, Iowa—Sam Ferrise II, Bandag Inc. chief operating officer and executive vice president, has left that position to become president of Tire Distribution Systems Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Bandag. Mr. Ferrise will replace James "J.J." Seiter, who will retire before the end of this year. Until then, Mr. Seiter will be vice president of TDS and report to Mr. Ferrise.
A 40-year tire industry veteran, Mr. Seiter surprised many when he left his position as president and COO of Treadco Inc. in 1995 to join Bandag. He had been president of TDS since the subsidiary's incorporation in 1997.
Messrs. Seiter and Ferrise will work together on the transition, a company spokesman said, and "have not announced any specific end time to the transition."
Martin Carver, Bandag chairman and CEO, said there are no immediate plans to replace Mr. Ferrise as COO. Instead, three executives who had reported to Mr. Ferrise —Nathaniel Derby, vice president of manufacturing design; Warren Heidbreder, chief financial officer; and John McErlane, vice president of marketing and sales—will report directly to Mr. Carver.
In his new position, Mr. Ferrise also will report directly to Mr. Carver. However, as president of TDS he will no longer be a corporate officer or a member of Bandag's Executive Leadership Team, which is chaired by Mr. Carver.
"Sam's challenge will be to improve financial performance while continuing to build strategic alignment in TDS," Mr. Carver said in a company statement.
Mr. Ferrise, 43, who joined Bandag in 1981 as a district sales manager, was unavailable for comment.
"I'm excited about working with TDS," he said in the company statement. "As I watch how rapidly our market is changing, I'm all the more confident our TDS employees and fellow Bandag Strategic Alliance dealers can deliver a package of value that the fleet customer can't get from any other source."
Mr. Carver described the personnel moves as an important evolution in TDS' management structure.
Since launching TDS, Bandag's emphasis has been shifting from manufacturing of tread rubber, equipment and supplies for retreading to sales of new and retread tires and fleet management services.
With 107 tire outlets and retreading plants in 17 states, TDS is expected to report about $390 million in sales for fiscal 1999. As such, TDS now is bigger than Bandag's traditional business in North America of supplying tread rubber and retreading equipment. Operating earnings, however, lag behind by a wide margin.
Tire Business Staff Reporter Bruce Davis contributed to this story.