It's even more difficult in a traditional, competitive manufacturing industry such as the tire business. In revealing "Goodyear Forward," a plan that the company and its shareholders hope will send their fortunes to a new level, Kramer said the industry was "facing a unique moment in time where fundamental changes to cost structures and competition are reinforcing why Goodyear needs to position itself differently for the future."
With the transformation initiative, Goodyear looks to raise $2 billion by selling its chemicals/synthetic rubber, Dunlop brand and off-the-road tire businesses. It also aims to boost finances by $1.3 billion per year by the end of 2025 through cost reductions and top-line actions, hoping to double Goodyear's profit margin.
Goodyear also will have a new leader. Kramer will retire after 14 years as chairman, CEO and president.
Kramer told financial analysts that the Goodyear Forward transformation plan isn't just a strategy that looks good on paper, but one that is "specific and actionable with detailed timelines and accountability that makes it credible and achievable."
To this point, his tenure is noted for achievements such as guiding Goodyear through the COVID-19 pandemic and leading the acquisition of Cooper Tire in 2021. One analyst, though, sees Goodyear under Kramer as a company that has dramatically underperformed, with margins below that of its rivals.
But the key to defining Kramer's legacy—and the tire maker's future—hinges on the new leader and their team making Goodyear Forward a success.