To more fully leverage its global capabilities, reduce overall cost and enhance its customer focus, Cooper Standard announced it is transitioning to global manufacturing, engineering and innovation organizations. As a result of this structure, and the planned retirement of Executive Vice President and COO Keith Stephenson, Cooper Standard has announced the following appointments to its Global Leadership Team:
- Patrick Clark will lead global engineering and product strategy as senior vice president and chief global engineering and product strategy officer;
- Christopher Couch will lead global innovation as senior vice president and chief innovation officer; and
- Hans Helmrich will lead global manufacturing as senior vice president and chief global manufacturing officer.
“While we have made impressive strides in the past five years with our systems and processes, the next five years will require that we accelerate our global standardization to proactively address a changing global economy,” said Jeffrey Edwards, chairman and CEO, Cooper Standard. “With Patrick, Chris and Hans in these three crucial global positions, Cooper Standard is better able to keep pace with today’s evolving market forces and compete in our key automotive and non-automotive markets.”
With more than 23 years of automotive industry experience, Clark will lead the company’s global engineering function in designing and developing superior products to meet current and future customer needs, as well as developing product strategy for the company’s automotive product lines to drive a distinct and sustainable competitive advantage. He also serves as chair of the company’s Global Engineering Council, where he focuses on aligning the global engineering organization to implement best practices and improve overall efficiency and effectiveness worldwide.
With more than 20 years of global automotive manufacturing, R&D and technology development experience, Couch will lead Cooper Standard’s i3 Innovation Process from idea inception to commercialization. He also serves as chair of the company’s Global Technology Council, which oversees development of technologies in all areas of the business, including materials science, product design, manufacturing process technology, analytics and artificial intelligence.
Helmrich, who has more than 25 years of experience in the manufacturing industry, is responsible for leading Cooper Standard’s automotive and non-automotive manufacturing operation toward world-class levels in support of the company’s profitable growth targets. He also serves as chair of the company’s Global Manufacturing Council, where he focuses on driving global world-class operations in all Cooper Standard facilities worldwide.
Stephenson, a 12-year veteran with Cooper Standard, will retire on April 2. His leadership helped lay the foundation for success across key areas of the business, including: installing the Cooper Standard Operating System; setting up the company’s robust i3 Innovation Process and global innovation team; upgrading the Company’s Information Technology and Purchasing infrastructures; helping establish global councils for regional collaboration; and bringing on key acquisitions and joint ventures.
“On behalf of the entire Cooper Standard organization, I want to extend our gratitude to Keith for all his contributions, especially for the leadership, integrity and energy he brought to the business and the many community initiatives he championed on behalf of the Cooper Standard Foundation,” said Edwards. “His tireless efforts helped build a solid foundation for our future success and we wish him well.”