Cooper consolidates its tire group into one reporting unit

April 23, 2003

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has reorganized its tire group "into a more streamlined structure."

For the last two years, Cooper Tire's tire group has been divided into three specific business units: North American Tire, International and Commercial Products. The units will now be consolidated.

The following staffing changes have been made as part of the consolidation:

* Mark Armstrong, former president of the North American Tire division, will assume the title of executive vice president of commercial operations. He will have responsibility for global sales, marketing and advertising for retail and commercial tire, retread and material sales and the new Mickey Thompson subsidiary. Armstrong joined Cooper in 1978 as a territory sales manager.

* Larry Beard, formerly president of the North American Fluid Systems Division at Cooper-Standard Automotive, will manage the engineering, manufacturing, quality and technical activities of the tire group as executive vice president industrial operations.

* Ed Reading will be promoted to the position of vice president, retread products and international sales. He will have responsibilities for retread products, custom mixing and fleet sales as well as international tire sales.

* Bill Woeste, currently plant manager at Cooper-Standard’s Griffin sealing facility, will assume responsibility for manufacturing operations at all tire group plants as vice president of manufacturing.

In a letter to all employees announcing this new structure, Dick Stephens, Cooper Tire president, said, "This new streamlined structure will maximize our cross-functional communication, strengthen our focus on business issues, allow us to be more agile and enhance teamwork across the organization.

"In today’s business environment, change is a constant and we must make sure our organization fits the model for success in both our tire and retread businesses and any other opportunities which come our way. We are confident that these changes will enhance our flexibility in meeting the challenges we know will be coming."

Last week, Cooper's Cooper-Standard Automotive division combined the North American and international operations of its Global Fluid Systems and Global Sealing Systems Divisions under two executive vice presidents.

Larry Enders, who headed up Cooper Tire's commercial products division before the consolidation, will retire later in the year.