AKRON (April 12, 2011)—During his address at Goodyear's annual shareholders meeting April 12, Chairman, President and CEO Richard Kramer said effective management, innovation and operational efficiency will be a top priority as the company strives to strengthen its leadership position in the tire industry.
During the Akron meeting, Kramer told shareholders that the tire maker's focus on operational efficiency has “begun to deliver tangible results,” including a boost in manufacturing productivity as its plants generated 22 million more tires last year than in 2009.
In addition, Kramer highlighted several areas of improvement for the tire maker in 2010, including price/mix improvements that offset the impact of higher raw material costs; a high percentage of new products in the company's tire lineup; cost actions and fixed cost recovery that went to Goodyear's bottom line; and investments in future growth in targeted market segments.
“We have the right brands, channels and customers selling premium products through the channels where the margins are highest,” he said. “Our focus will continue to be on profitable growth, not chasing volume for volume's sake.”
Going forward, Kramer said, Goodyear's goals will be to continue to be the industry leader in customer satisfaction, targeted market segments and innovation and to be “competitively advantaged in everything we do.”
“I'm talking about products, marketing, supply chain and our manufacturing,” he added. “In 2011, we will invest more than $1 billion in (capital expenditures) to both sustain our business and to maximize our ability to grow profitably.”
Also during the meeting, Goodyear shareholders re-elected 12 members of the company's board of directors: James Boland, James Firestone, Werner Geissler, Peter Hellman, Kramer, W. Alan McCollough, Rodney O'Neal, Shirley Peterson, Stephanie Streeter, G. Craig Sullivan, Thomas Weidemeyer and Michael Wessel.
The appointment of PricewaterhouseCoopers L.L.P. as the company's 2011 independent registered public accounting firm was also ratified.