FINDLAY, Ohio — Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has 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 a presentation the company made recently to investors and stock analysts.
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,” Cooper COO Brad 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.
“We look forward to the market knowledge and expertise Luis will bring as he joins our experienced leaders in Asia, Europe and North America to deliver on our global strategic plan.”
Mr. Ceneviz's hiring comes just two weeks after Cooper promoted Mr. 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.