Paris - Speaking at the a press conference marking the eighth Challenge Bibendum event on Saturday, Michelin gÃ©rant (managing partner) Michel Rollier said, "This is my first press conference as the only managing partner of Michelin. There are no current plans for a second managing partner...The executive board will remain as it is."
The comment appeared to come in response to speculation that Rollier might bring RenÃ© Zingraff back out of retirement. Zingraff retired from his post of co-gÃ©rant at Michelin's shareholder AGM in May, when Rollier was appointed to the post of joint managing partner with Edouard Michelin. M Michelin tragically died in a boating accident at the end of May this year.
Rollier added that Michelin's strategy would not change and that the company would continue with the same path it has developed in recent years. He said there were no plans for job cuts, though the effort to improve productivity would continue.
He said half of the company's employees in the United States are due to retire by 2010, and no more than half of them would be replaced. In Europe, around one third of employees are due to retire by the same date, and the company expects to replace between 30 percent and 50 percent of them with new recruits.
Rollier dedicated the Challenge Bibendum event to the memory of Edouard Michelin. M Michelin strongly supported the event and the concept since its creation in 1998. The company said Challenge Bibendum is internationally recognised as the world's premiere event in support of sustainable road mobility.