AKRON—Darren Wells has returned to a familiar role at Goodyear, stepping into the chief financial officer position he held from 2008-2013. With the appointment, effective immediately, he succeeds retiring CFO Laura Thompson.
Wells first joined Goodyear in 2002 as vice president and treasurer, and progressed through a series of finance leadership roles before serving as executive vice president and CFO.
He was the architect of the company's capital allocation plan, and he spearheaded the freezing and funding of its U.S. pension plans. He also worked with the United Steelworkers union to reach an agreement on the voluntary employee beneficiary association plan for post-retirement health care obligations.
Before leaving the tire maker in 2016, Wells served two years as president of Goodyear's Europe, Middle East and Africa business.
Most recently, he was the executive in residence and MBA coach at the University of South Florida's Muma College of Business.
When he returns to Goodyear, Wells will bring an understanding of the company, the tire industry and its adjacent markets. This will allow him to have an immediate impact in his new role, according to Richard Kramer, Goodyear chairman, CEO and president.
"For more than a decade, he was a key leader on our strategic journey and a valued business partner to me and our senior leadership team," Kramer said in a statement. "With his deep knowledge of Goodyear, the tire industry and our key markets, Darren will be able to contribute immediately to advancing our priorities along with developing our finance leadership, talent and teams."
Thompson joined Goodyear in 1983, and served in a range of key finance and business roles before being appointed executive vice president and CFO in 2013. She played a key role in the turnaround of Goodyear's North America business as vice president of finance, the company said. She plans to step down in the first quarter of 2019, ending a 35-year career with the tire maker.