AKRON — Darren Wells has returned to a familiar role at Goodyear, stepping into the chief financial officer position he held from 2008-13.
He succeeds CFO Laura Thompson, who is planning to retire in the first quarter of 2019, ending a 35-year career with the tire maker.
Mr. Wells, 52, first joined Goodyear in 2002 as vice president and treasurer, and progressed through a series of finance leadership roles before serving as executive vice president and CFO.
He was the architect of the company's capital allocation plan, and spearheaded the freezing and funding of its U.S. pension plans. He also worked with the United Steelworkers union to reach an agreement on the voluntary employee beneficiary association plan for post-retirement health care obligations.
Before leaving the tire maker in 2016, Mr. Wells was president of Goodyear's Europe, Middle East and Africa business for two years.
Most recently, he was the executive in residence and MBA coach at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business.
When he returns to Goodyear, Mr. Wells will bring an understanding of the company as well as the overall tire industry and its adjacent markets. This will allow him to have an immediate impact in his new role, according to Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president.
"For more than a decade, he was a key leader on our strategic journey and a valued business partner to me and our senior leadership team," Mr. Kramer said.
"With his deep knowledge of Goodyear, the tire industry and our key markets, Darren will be able to contribute immediately to advancing our priorities along with developing our finance leadership, talent and teams."
Ms. Thompson joined Goodyear in 1983, and served in a range of key finance and business roles before being appointed executive vice president and CFO in 2013. She played a key role in the turnaround of Goodyear's North America business as vice president of finance, the company said