Retail

Keegan will take over as CEO at Goodyear in January

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At today's regularly scheduled board meeting, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co.'s board of directors announced that President and COO Bob Keegan will be named CEO as of Jan. 1, 2003. He will retain his current duties.

Sam Gibara, 63, will remain as chairman of the board. He will "advise and assist senior management in matters related to the company's strategic plan; industry and market trends; company business initiatives; and relationships with key joint venture partners, shareholders and customers."

Gibara also will chair a newly formed executive committee of the board of directors. In addition to Gibara, the new committee is made up of the following standing committee chairmen:

* John Breen, retired chairman of the board of The Sherwin-Williams Co.

* William Hudson Jr., retired vice chairman of AMP Inc.

* Philip Laskawy, retired chairman and CEO of Ernst & Young.

* Steven Minter, executive director and president of The Cleveland Foundation.

* James Zimmerman, chairman and CEO of Federated Department Stores.

Goodyear says the board executive committee has been established "as part of an enhanced governance model" and "will provide more active counsel to company leadership on business matters."

"The changes we are announcing today provide for both the orderly transition to new leadership for the company and more active counsel from the leaders of our board on matters affecting our business," says Gibara.

In his new role, Keegan, 55, will assume management responsibility for Goodyear. All executives currently reporting to Gibara will report to Keegan at that time.

"I am excited about the opportunity that Sam and the board are presenting to me and I relish the challenge," says Keegan. "I look to the associates of Goodyear for their help as we take that challenge head on.

"I am particularly pleased with the new board executive committee that will provide the kind of assistance and timely access that will be important to Goodyear as we move forward."

When he joined Goodyear from Eastman Kodak Co. on Oct. 1, 2000, Keegan was assured a shot at the chairman's position within three years, according to his employment agreement. The agreement said the promotion will be "at the sole discretion of the board of directors."

Keegan has a severance clause he can exercise if he is not named chief executive officer by Oct. 1, 2003.

As of yesterday, Goodyear's stock was trading at $8.89 a share. The stock price's 52-week high and low is $28.85 and $8.03, respectively.

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