Pirelli Tire North America has appointed Gaetano Mannino, previously general manager of Pirelli S.p.A.'s Venezuela tire operations, as president and CEO, effective Feb. 1.
Mr. Mannino replaces Carlo Bianconi, who has served as PTNA's leader since November 1998 and is retiring after a 33-year career with the Italian tire maker.
The new PTNA leader brings to the company sales, marketing and operational expertise earned through experience internationally and in the U.S.
He takes over as the company prepares to open its first U.S.-based MIRS (Modular Integrated Roboticized System) factory in Rome, Ga.
Mr. Mannino previously served as director of sales at PTNA in 1994 and was director of operations in 1995.
He began his career with Pirelli in 1992 in Milan, Italy, joining the firm's diversified products division.
In 1993, he moved to Pirelli's tire division to become sales director in Italy, and was named general manager of Pirelli's Venezuela operations in 1999.
Meanwhile, parent firm Pirelli S.p.A. reported that its tire sales and operating profit were stable in 2001, thanks in part to an increasing focus on high-performance tire markets.
Sales at Pirelli's energy cables and systems division were 11.7-percent higher than in 2000 the group's preliminary, unaudited results for 2001 show.
There was also a ``progressive improvement'' in the cable unit's operating profit during the year to 31 Dec, Pirelli said.
Overall, however, Pirelli's gross operating profit for 2001 fell 18.8 percent to $593.7 million, while sales were up slightly to $6.7 billion. As a result, the net margin dipped to 8.8 percent from 11 percent in 2000.
The decline reflected a worsening of the general economy during the second half of 2001, particularly in the telecom cables and systems market, Pirelli said.
The company will present its final consolidated financial statements for last year on March 27.