AKRON (Dec. 10, 2007) — Goodyear has combined its European Union and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa business units into one division — making it the tire maker´s largest geographic business unit and second only in annual sales to North America.
Annual combined sales revenue for the two regions was $6.5 billion in 2006, the company said. The change is effective Feb. 1.
Arthur de Bok, formerly president of the EU division, will head the new unit. Michel Rzonzef, former vice president of sales and marketing for the other division, will serve as president of the Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa countries. He will report to de Bok. Jarro Kaplan, president of the EEMEA division, will retire.
"While the two former regions are different in terms of approach to the market there are many similarities which are increasing, especially with the introduction of the new EU member states," said Robert Keegan, Goodyear chairman and CEO. "This new organization is structured to accelerate growth and maximize earnings through simplicity, speed and an intense focus on our customers and markets."
A spokesman said the company has not detailed a dollar amount of cost savings associated with the move but the two divisions already shared many operations.