CLEARWATER, Fla. (July 9, 2002) — Morgan Tire & Auto Inc. Chairman and CEO Larry Morgan is stepping down from those positions but will remain as an executive with and on the board of directors of the Bridgestone/Firestone subsidiary.
Instead, Mr. Morgan said he intends to take a more active role in strategic issues faced by the newly established Tire Industry Association and other family matters.
Bridgestone/Firestone named Stu Watterson, a 32-year company veteran, as president and CEO of Morgan Tire, overseeing day-to-day operations. Mr. Watterson most recently was vice president of the northeast zone of Bridgestone/Firestone Retail & Commercial Operations (BFRC). Larry Magee, chairman, president and CEO of BFRC, will assume the role of chairman of the board of Morgan Tire.
“Larry Morgan is an icon in the tire industry and built MTA to its current position of 549 stores in just over 10 years,” Mr. Magee said in a prepared statement. “We will miss his day-to-day leadership but are pleased he will continue as a member of the MTA board of directors.”
“While my other personal endeavors prevent me from devoting the amount of time and energy necessary to running the company on a daily basis,” Mr. Morgan said, “it continues to be exciting and challenging for me to serve on Morgan Tire's board with others who also have a vested interest in (its) success.”
Mr. Morgan said he wants to assist his son's entrepreneurial interests as well as work with the TIA.
Morgan Tire operates 549 “Tires Plus” locations in 25 states, employing approximately 6,000 nationwide. BFRC purchased majority control of Morgan Tire last summer and eventually will become the full owner.