FINDLAY, OhioCooper Tire & Rubber Co. has announced three executive leadership changesas Chris Ostrander left his post as president, Americas Tire Operations, effective Feb. 6, to become CEO of AP Exhaust Technologies Inc.and named a new head of its Latin American unit.
Cooper named Brad Hughes to the newly created position of senior vice president and COO, responsible for Cooper's worldwide operations throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America. He has been with the company for five years, beginning in 2009 as CFO. He was named president of international tire operations last July.
Cooper also promoted Phil Kortokrax to the position of vice president, North America Tire Operations, responsible for the strategic leadership and growth of all Cooper operations in the U.S. and Canada. He most recently was vice president of manufacturing for North America Tire Operations.
Mr. Ostrander joined Cooper in January 2011 as president, North America Tire Operations, moving to the Findlay-based tire maker from Eaton Corp., where he'd been since 2004.
Cooper Chairman, CEO and President Roy Armes lauded Mr. Ostrander as an exceptional leader who made important contributions to our business in the Americas, establishing a solid foundation and cohesive team that will serve us well into the future.
Mr. Armes said of Mr. Hughes: We look forward to the contributions Brad will continue to make as we bring together all of our regions under his leadership. This appointment gives Cooper an even more cohesive global approach to our business as we continue to develop, optimize and leverage our brands, products and manufacturing footprint around the world.
Mr. Kortokrax has been with Cooper for 24 years, serving in a wide range of functional areas comprising information technology, finance, sales and marketing and operations. He was named vice president of manufacturing for North America Tire Operations in 2012. He will report to Mr. Hughes in his new position.
The tire maker also hired Luis Ceneviz, formerly an executive with Apollo Tyres Ltd. and Goodyear, to be managing director of its Latin America Tire Operations, a new position.
In his new role, Mr. Ceneviz, 57, will be responsible for Cooper's business throughout Latin America, including Central and South America, as well as Mexico, where Cooper has a sales and marketing organization and is a joint venture partner in Corporación de Occidente S.A. de C.V., the tire maker in Guadalajara.
The appointment is effective March 1.
Cooper last year singled out Latin/South America for exponential growth, telling financial analysts in a mid-year presentation it anticipates selling 4 million to 5 million units throughout Latin America by 2020,
Findlay-based Cooper has set up sales agents in 21 Latin American and Caribbean nations, according to the presentation.
Mr. Ceneviz, a native of Brazil, brings more than 35 years of tire industry experience to Cooper. Most recently he was president of Apollo's Europe, Sub-Sahara Africa and Americas region in 2013-14 and before that was chairman and CEO of Apollo Tyres South Africa Ltd. from 2006 to 2012.
He left Apollo last October to pursue his entrepreneurial dream, Apollo said at that time. Prior to joining Apollo, Mr. Ceneviz spent nearly three decades with Goodyear, starting in 1977 in production management for Goodyear do Brasil. He advanced through a series of leadership roles in manufacturing and sales and marketing, including: president, Goodyear de Colombia; chairman and managing director, Goodyear India; and CEO, South Pacific Tyres, Australia/New Zealand.
Luis is coming to Cooper at an exciting point in our Latin America growth plans, Mr. Hughes said.
Our strong assets in Mexico, which include a well-established team and manufacturing capability, give Cooper certain advantages that we plan to leverage as we expand our presence in Latin America.