Richard Kramer steps down

Goodyear seeks new CEO

Pictured: Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer, in September 2017, breaking ground on the plant in Dudelange. Photo: Maison Moderne/Archives

Pictured: Goodyear CEO Richard Kramer, in September 2017, breaking ground on the plant in Dudelange. Photo: Maison Moderne/Archives

Goodyear has announced that it has asked a headhunter to find its next CEO. On 15 November, Richard Kramer announced his retirement in 2024 after 14 years heading up the company. The same day, Goodyear--which has two innovation centres, one of them in Colmar-Berg--announced a “transformation plan.”

“Reflecting on the past 14 years, it has been an incredible privilege to lead this iconic American company as chair, CEO and president. As we embark on our next stage of growth, I am confident that our ‘Goodyear Forward’ plan will build an even stronger foundation for the next generation of leadership to continue paving the way for Goodyear’s enduring success. I am fully engaged in driving the successful execution of the plan and, with the support and involvement of the board, will assist with the transition when my successor is identified,” announced CEO Richard Kramer, who spent a total of 24 years with the tyre giant, on November 15. He added: “Over the coming months, we have substantial work to do to execute the Goodyear Forward plan to deliver profitable growth and value, leveraging our renowned leadership in brands, technology and premium products.”

Under his leadership, the company notes, “Goodyear has been recognised among Newsweek’s Most Responsible Companies, Time's World’s Best Companies, Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies and Forbes’s World’s Best Regarded Companies.”

These accomplishments haven’t stopped it from announcing a new and radical transformation, however.

“Goodyear Forward” plan

On 15 November, “Goodyear Forward” was presented to shareholders and investors in more detail:

--an injection of more than $2bn via “portfolio optimisation,” i.e., the disposal of certain assets, such as its chemicals business, the Dunlop brand and its off-road tyre business

--a cost-cutting plan to recover $1bn by the end of 2025: the company says this plan includes research and development, which are its core activities in Luxembourg

--a development plan to generate $300m by the end of 2025 via opportunities in North America to “optimise brand positioning and levels, streamline cost management, increase customer and channel profitability and improve coverage of premium product ranges”

--a doubling of the operating margin, to 10%, by the end of 2025

--a debt reduction of around $1.5bn to improve its rating with market professionals

“By building on our strengths, this plan will enable Goodyear to enhance and expand our leadership position, generate profitable growth in all markets, create significant value for our shareholders and, ultimately, lay the foundation for our success for the next 125 years,” commented Kramer.

Third-quarter results show revenues below the $15bn mark and losses of nearly $400m over nine months, worse than the 2022 results for the same period. On 6 September, in Luxembourg, Goodyear announced a redundancy plan for 65 people, mainly in administration.

Kramer travelled to Luxembourg in September 2017 to break ground on its “Mercury Plant” in Dudelange plant, an €80m investment that created 90 jobs. Present in Luxembourg since 1951, the American group employs nearly 1,400 people in companies consolidated from Luxembourg, with sales of €175m last year.

This article was originally published in Paperjam. It has been translated and edited for Delano.