GREENVILLE, S.C., (June 21, 2011)—Richard Wilkerson, Michelin North America Inc. chairman and president, will retire by year-end, and Pete Selleck, president of Michelin's truck tire business worldwide, will succeed him.
Wilkerson, a 31-year veteran of the company, has been chairman and president since August 2008. During his tenure, Michelin North America grew to rival Goodyear as the largest tire maker in North America by sales and has remained the most profitable tire maker on the continent for seven consecutive years, the company said.
Wilkerson called his decision to retire “one of the most difficult of my career because of my abiding respect for the men and women of Michelin and the values that guide our company.” He will be named chairman emeritus upon his retirement, Greenville-based Michelin said.
He did not elaborate on his plans for retirement, saying, “Ã the time has come to begin a new chapter, one that will allow me to more fully engage in service to the communities in which we live and work.”
Wilkerson has been active in South Carolina during his stint with Michelin, helping create a number of community programs, including Michelin Development in East Alabama and Upstate South Carolina and Michelin Challenge Education.
Jean-Dominique Senard, managing general partner of Group Michelin, lauded Mr. Wilkerson for his “exemplary leadership” throughout his career at Michelin.
“Most recently,” Senard said, “he helped guide Michelin North America to record results in spite of the economic recession. Michelin North America is emerging from this extremely difficult time even stronger than before and with the satisfaction of knowing that no employee lost a job at Michelin because of the economy.”
Selleck, 55, who was chief operating officer of Michelin Americas Small Tires from 1996 to 2003, will return to Greenville from Michelin's global headquarters in Clermont-Ferrand, France, where he has been based since 2003.
A 29-year Michelin veteran, Selleck's accomplishments during his time as head of truck tires include the implementation of the Durable Technologies innovation program, including the rollout of the X-One wide-base single truck tires in North America. He also oversaw the modernization of truck tire plants in Europe and North America and major capacity expansions in China, India and Brazil.