AKRON (Dec. 3, 2001)—Goodyear has restructured its North American tire operations, creating four business segments focused on consumer replacement, consumer original equipment, commercial, farm and retail and promising improved customer service and responsiveness.
“These organizational changes will allow us to better focus on our key businesses to achieve improved results, both financially and operationally,” said John C. Polhemus, president of North American Tire, in a prepared statement. "The objectives were to reduce complexity and streamline decision-making."
For customers, the moves should create more time for face-to-face meetings with Goodyear representatives, since much of the administrative work now handled by field personnel will be taken over by support staff in Akron, a spokesman said.
To facilitate the restructuring, Goodyear will close eight regional sales offices in the U.S.—in Atlanta, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Jacksonville, Fla., Los Angeles, Philadelphia and San Francisco—in the next six months and will centralize functional support operations in Akron. The closings will eliminate 45 jobs, although some new jobs will be created in the new organization, the spokesman said.
The restructuring also creates two new executive positions: vice president, commercial systems, and vice president operations, manufacturing and supply chain. Goodyear has hired Ted Fick, 42, previously executive vice president of Hino Diesel Truck Inc., to fill the commercial position, and named John Loulan, previously vice president of manufacturing for North America, to take over the operations duties.
Other key executives are: Jim Vogel, 44, vice president, consumer tires, covering replacement market activities; Bryan Kinnamon, 55, vice president OE, continues to oversee the consumer original equipment business; Mark Pillow, 37, previously marketing director of farm tires, has been named director of farm tires; and John Peer, 52, will continue as director of retail operations.
Mr. Polhemus said Goodyear will dedicate specialized resources in the field to service the segments.
“Our businesses and functional support groups will be better organized and equipped to take advantage quickly of business opportunities,” he said, without citing specifics. The streamlined structure is based in part on lessons learned from a revamp of retail store activities earlier this year.