WILTON, Conn. (June 8) — Jonathan Rich, former president of Goodyear´s North American Tire unit, has been named president and CEO of specialty materials manufacturer Momentive Performance Materials Inc.
A chemist by trade, Rich — who left Goodyear in March to "pursue other leadership opportunities" — had served as president of Goodyear´s chemical division from July 2001 until his appointment to the North American Tire post in December 2002. The chemical division eventually was rolled into the tire unit.
Before joining Goodyear, Rich worked for General Electric Co. for 18 years, Momentive said. During 1996 to 2000, he worked in the GE Silicones business, which was a predecessor entity to Momentive.
Momentive, then operating as GE Advanced Materials, was sold by GE for $3.8 billion to an affiliate of Apollo Management L.P., a New York investment firm, late last year. Momentive provides material solutions to the silicones, quartz and ceramics markets.
"I believe that my executive experiences at Goodyear, combined with my intimate knowledge of Momentive´s strengths and opportunities from my time at GE Silicones, make me an ideal candidate to lead the business toward future growth," Rich as part of a Momentive statement.
He replaces Wayne Hewett, who resigned as director, president and CEO. The firm did not provide a reason for Hewett's departure.
Rich was succeeded at Goodyear by CFO Richard Kramer. The Akron-based tire maker is seeking a new chief financial officer.