AKRON, OH — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. today announced that Richard Kramer has been appointed president of the company’s North American Tire unit, effective immediately. Kramer succeeds Jonathan Rich, 51, who is leaving the company to pursue other leadership options. Currently executive vice president and chief financial officer for Goodyear, Kramer, 43, also will continue as chief financial officer (CFO) until the company names a replacement.
Kramer joined Goodyear in March of 2000 and was elected an officer of the company as vice president, corporate finance. He became vice president of finance for the North American Tire business in July of 2002 and was promoted to senior vice president, strategic planning and restructuring in August of 2003. In May of 2004 Kramer became chief financial officer.
"Rich Kramer has demonstrated outstanding business leadership at every level in his career and has earned the respect of his peers, his associates and Wall Street," said Robert Keegan, Goodyear chairman and chief executive officer. "Rich became our chief financial officer under very challenging circumstances, made courageous value-creating decisions, recruited top talent, and built a strong finance team."
Keegan said that in Kramer’s time in North American Tire as that business’ CFO, he helped build the business platforms for its improvement. "He knows the business, knows the customers and understands the challenges," Keegan said. "I believe Rich is the ideal leader to take the North American Tire business to the next level of performance.
"At the same time, I want to thank Jon Rich for his outstanding service to the company and the significant contributions that he made in helping to create the foundation for the future success of the North American business," Keegan added. "Jon assembled a strong, capable team that has earned the respect of our customers in a challenging environment."
Rich was elected president of Goodyear Chemical in August of 2001 after joining the company in September of 2000. He was named president of North American Tire in December of 2002. Prior to joining Goodyear, Rich served in various senior management roles at General Electric where he worked for 18 years.
A native of Cleveland, OH, Kramer received a bachelor of science in business administration degree from John Carroll University in Cleveland in 1986. Prior to joining Goodyear he spent 13 years with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Goodyear also announced that Darren Wells has been appointed senior vice president of finance and strategy for the company effective immediately. Wells, 41, previously served as senior vice president, business development and treasurer.
With the announced appointment of Kramer to run the North American Tire Business as its president, Wells assumes Kramer’s former responsibility for the company’s overall strategy development. In addition, Wells retains his finance responsibilities, which include treasury, investor relations, business development and tax.
Goodyear Chairman and CEO Robert Keegan said that until the company names a new CFO, Kramer would retain responsibility for that position along with his new assignment in North American Tire.
Simultaneously, Damon Audia has been named the company’s vice president and treasurer, replacing Wells, with the responsibility for the company’s capital markets, banking, risk management and benefits financing activities.
"Darren has been pivotal in the finance team’s design and execution of Goodyear’s complex refinancing and capital structure improvement over the past four years," said Keegan. "That allowed the company time to successfully implement critical elements of its strategy."
Keegan added that Wells’ accomplishments under such a challenging set of circumstances established his considerable strategic skills and makes him well suited to work directly with him to help Goodyear develop its future strategy.
"Damon was instrumental in the execution of the plans to refinance the company and his experiences with Goodyear and previously at Delphi provide him an ideal base for our company’s requirements," Keegan said. "He’s had extensive experience in executing complex transactions for multi-national companies."
Wells joined Goodyear in August of 2002 as vice president and treasurer. In May of 2005 he was named senior vice president of business development and treasurer. Prior to Goodyear he served two years as assistant treasurer of Visteon Corp., assisting with the spin-off from Ford Motor Co. He worked for Ford from 1989 until joining Visteon in a variety of assignments including finance director for Ford Credit, Australia . A native of Indianapolis, Wells earned a bachelor of arts degree from DePauw University and an MBA in finance from Indiana University.
Audia, 36, joined Goodyear as assistant treasurer, capital markets in December 2004 from Delphi Corp., where he served in a variety of treasury and financial roles. He joined Delphi as manager, Capital Planning and Pensions Analysis in 1998, and held positions including manager, Capital Markets; director, Capital Planning and Structured Finance; director, Corporate Finance and Capital Markets, and p rod uct line director for the company’s Automotive Holdings Group. Prior to Delphi, Audia spent time with General Motors, Merck and Ford in a variety of finance positions.
A native of Detroit, Audia holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, and earned a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University.