Phoenix Decides to Retire Without Fanfare

Bob Ulrich
Posted on December 29, 2016
Phoenix is proof positive that once you enter the tire industry, you can never leave (at least until you retire).
Phoenix is proof positive that once you enter the tire industry, you can never leave (at least until you retire).

The name Bob Phoenix is known by many in the tire industry.

When American Kenda Rubber Industrial Co. Ltd. hired him as vice president of sales for its Automotive Tire Division in 2009, he had already logged more than 35 years among the tire manufacturers, marketers and dealers. The majority of that time was spent in tire sales management for the North American market.

When he handed over the reins to Brandon Stotsenburg earlier this month, he did so without much fanfare, which is his way.

I could not let it quite go at that, especially for a longtime friend, and a fellow Ohioan to boot -- Ohio University, class of 1971. Go RedHawks!

Here's what Kenda President Jimmy Yang had to say about Phoenix.

“We want to thank Bob for his leadership in setting the foundation for our automotive tire business to be an outstanding part of the Kenda business in North America. Bob will always be part of the Kenda family and we wish him happiness in his retirement.”

Fittingly, I will leave you with Bob’s parting words, low-key, yes, but still emotional. Here's hoping he stays in touch.

“Dear dealers, distributors and friends. It’s December and the time of year that many of us reflect on the past year. We give thanks for good fortune, good friends and good times.

“This year holds even more importance to me because it is the year that I retire from the tire industry. It has indeed been a career full of good fortune, good friends and good times.

“I want to thank all of you personally for being a part of those good times. You have filled my career with great experiences and friendships. I will miss you deeply and I hope that our paths might cross again.

“I will treasure most the friendships and business relationships that were formed in my 45 year stint in the tire business.

“It is time to ride into the sunset but before I saddle up, I wish you all continued success and good health.

“With gratitude, Bob.”

Related Topics: Bob Phoenix, Jimmy Yang, Kenda USA, retirement

Bob Ulrich Editor
Comments ( 1 )
  • Rodney Phoenix

     | about 7 months ago

    You may find it unusual that the first comment would come from a member of the US Air Force, but I've known Bob my entire life . . . he's my older brother. He has also been a role model for me and for countless others. The Bob you know -- Bob the Tire Guy -- is just a small part of the Bob I have known for a lifetime. Bob Phoenix is, and has always been, a devoted family man, a superb engineer, and a patriot. He is among the most industrious, energetic, and knowledgeable individuals I have ever encountered. His upbeat attitude and ever-present sense of humor make good times more enjoyable, and tough times easier to handle. I wish him a long, happy, and healthy retirement. Congratulations, Bro! Rodney D. Phoenix, Colonel, USAF

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