Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. is combining its North America and Latin America businesses into one Americas business unit, effective Jan. 1, 2016.
“While the two former regions approach their markets differently, there also are many increasing similarities, especially the growth of high-value-added tires,” says 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.”
All manufacturing plants in the combined region – including the new Americas plant in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, scheduled to open in 2017 – will be leveraged to serve all customers in Mexico, Latin America and North America. The company says the new structure will give Goodyear greater flexibility to anticipate market changes and react faster to them.
“We believe combining our North America and Latin America operations into a single business unit will allow us to become a better partner and supplier to customers and consumers,” says Kramer. “We are excited about the opportunities to operate more efficiently and better manage the increasing complexity of the tire industry. This will enhance our ability to deliver more of our high-value-added tires to the customers and consumers who are demanding them most.”
The Americas business unit will be led by Stephen McClellan, currently president of Goodyear’s North America business. Marcelo Toscani, currently vice president of global manufacturing, will serve as president of the company’s Latin America operations and will report to McClellan. Toscani will replace Jean-Claude Kihn as president in Latin America.
McClellan, 50, has spent his entire career at Goodyear since joining the company in 1988. He has been the president of the company’s North America business since 2011. Prior to that, he served as president of the North American consumer tire business, led the North American commercial truck tire business, and served in other management roles in finance, sales and distribution.
“Steve is a seasoned leader who has consistently executed our strategy, delivering record results and putting the North America business on a path to sustained growth," says Kramer. "He is perfectly suited to lead our Americas business."
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, Toscani has held leadership positions in Brazil and China during his more than 30 years at Goodyear.
“We’re pleased to have Marcelo back in Latin America to take advantage of his deep knowledge of the market and our customers there," says Kramer. "I’m confident he will continue our momentum in Latin America."
Goodyear also has named Kihn president of its Europe, Middle East and Africa business. Currently the president of Goodyear’s Latin America business, Kihn will fully assume his new role Jan. 1, 2016. He succeeds Darren Wells, who will leave the company in early 2016.
“Jean-Claude is a well-rounded executive with leadership experience in all of our regions and every aspect of our operations,” said Kramer. “As Goodyear’s chief technical officer, he led our technology and innovation progress and was responsible for research, development, engineering, and quality worldwide. He also has managed our Latin America strategic business unit, and has excelled at building customer relationships. We believe Jean-Claude is the right leader to take our EMEA business to the next level of performance.”
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 Goodyear Brazil, and most recently, president of the company’s Latin America business unit.
“We deeply appreciate everything Darren Wells has done for Goodyear during his 13 years with the company,” said Kramer. “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.”
For more information about Goodyear, visit www.goodyear.com/corporate.