AKRON (May 7, 2003) — Samir Gibara will resign as Goodyear's chairman of the board of directors, effective June 30, and will be succeeded by President and CEO Robert Keegan.
Subject to Mr. Keegan´s discretion, Mr. Gibara could remain on Goodyear's payrolls as a consultant, according to Goodyear's annual report, with a salary of $180,000 plus travel expenses. The term of that agreement was to last from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, though either Mr. Keegan or Mr. Gibara could terminate it early, a spokesman said. Mr. Gibara will not remain as a director on the board, he said.
The announcement marks the completion of the leadership transition process that began in October 2002 when Mr. Keegan, 55, was named CEO, effective Jan. 1, Goodyear said. The announcement was made at the annual shareholder's meeting in Akron May 7.
“Over the course of these two years, Bob has quickly learned the industry and demonstrated his leadership abilities,” Mr. Gibara said in a prepared statement. “He has effectively taken on the leadership role as CEO since January and has earned the confidence of the board, the company's leadership, customers and associates.”
Mr. Keegan said he has confidence in Goodyear's people, products and turnaround plan.
“I relish the challenge, and I believe deeply in the future of this company,” he told shareholders. “But I don't underestimate the substantial hurdles that confront us.”
Goodyear also announced the creation of a “presiding director” position on the board of directors as an enhancement to its governance model. James M. Zimmerman, chairman of Federated Department Stores and a Goodyear director since 2001, will serve in the position. He will preside over executive sessions of outside directors as called for by the proposed rules of the New York Stock Exchange.
Mr. Keegan joined the tire maker Oct. 1 as president, chief operating officer and a director. He had been president of the Consumer Imaging business and an executive vice president of Eastman Kodak Co. in Rochester, N.Y.
Mr. Gibara, 64, has been Goodyear's chairman since July 1, 1996. He also served as CEO from Jan. 1, 1996, through Dec. 31, 2002. He has been a member of the company's board since April 1995.
Prior to his election as CEO, Mr. Gibara was president and chief operating officer of the company. Beginning in 1994, he was executive vice president of Goodyear responsible for its North American Tire operations. He was elected a corporate officer in 1992. He began his career with the company in 1964.