AKRONGoodyear will combine its North America and Latin America businesses into one Americas business unit, effective Jan. 1.
The Akron-based tire maker said the combined business will serve customers and consumers more effectively and efficiently by integrating product development, market forecasting, product supply and other processes.
All of the tire maker's plants in the combined regionincluding its new factory in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, scheduled to open in 2017will be leveraged to serve all customers in Mexico, Latin America and North America. Goodyear added that the move will give it greater flexibility to anticipate market changes and react faster to them.
While the two former regions approach their markets differently, there also are many increasing similarities, especially the growth of high-value-added tires, said Goodyear Chairman and CEO Richard Kramer.
This new organization is structured to accelerate growth and maximize earnings over time through simplicity, speed and an intense focus on our customers and markets.
Mr. Kramer added that the tire maker believes combining both operations into a single business unit will allow it to become a better partner and supplier.
The Americas business unit will be led by Stephen McClellan, president of Goodyear's North America business. Marcelo Toscani, vice president of global manufacturing, will become president of the company's Latin America operations and report to Mr. McClellan.
Mr. McClellan, 50, has spent his entire career at Goodyear since joining the company in 1988, and has been the president of the company's North America business since 2011. Prior to that, he served as president of Goodyear's North American consumer tire business, led the North American commercial truck tire business and served in other management roles in finance, sales and distribution, the tire maker said.
Mr. Toscani, 57, has global experience across regions and functions. A native of Argentina, he has experience in marketing, manufacturing and general management in several Latin American countries.
In addition to his current global operations role, Mr. Toscani has held leadership positions in Brazil and China during his career of more than 30 years at Goodyear.
In addition, Goodyear named Jean-Claude Kihn president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) business, succeeding Darren Wells, who will leave the company in early 2016. Currently the president of Good-year's Latin America business, Mr. Kihn will assume his new role effective Jan. 1.
We deeply appreciate everything Darren Wells has done for Goodyear during his 13 years with the company, Mr. Kramer said. First as treasurer and later as CFO, Darren led numerous initiatives that were critical to the company's turnaround and ensuring its long-term financial health. As president of EMEA, he laid the groundwork for future success in the region.
Mr. Kramer called his replacement, Mr. Kihn, a well-rounded executive with leadership experience in all of Goodyear's regions and in every aspect of the firm's operations.
Mr. Kihn, 56, joined Goodyear in 1988 as an engineer in the company's technical center in his native Luxembourg. A member of Goodyear's senior leadership team since 2008, he has served as chief technical officer, senior vice president and managing director of Good-year Brazil.
As Goodyear's chief technical officer, he led our technology and innovation progress and was responsible for research, development, engineering and quality worldwide, Mr. Kramer said. He also has managed our Latin America strategic business unit, and has excelled at building customer relationships.