Findlay, Ohio – Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. chairman, CEO and president Roy Armes plans to retire 31 Aug.
Cooper Tire chairman Armes to retire
The Findlay-based tire maker announced a succession plan for its senior executive leadership, with the company’s board of directors planning to elect Bradley Hughes – currently Cooper’s chief operating officer – as president and CEO, effective upon Armes’ retirement.
In conjunction with the transition, current lead independent director Thomas Capo is expected to become non-executive chairman of the board, also effective once Armes retires.
Armes joined Cooper in 2007 as CEO and president and was appointed chairman approximately one year later.
“With a focus on long-term strategic planning and outstanding execution, Roy spearheaded a positive transformation of Cooper’s business model, creating a stronger, more resilient and sustainable company,” Capo said in a press statement.
“During his tenure, Roy led an expansion of Cooper’s global footprint, significantly improved shareholder performance and transformed technology and innovation at Cooper. Roy has our profound thanks for his outstanding leadership and the many contributions he has made to the company’s success.”
Capo said the company looks forward to Mr. Hughes’ leadership, “honed by his decades of experience in the automotive industry, as well as his years as Cooper’s chief financial officer, president of International Operations, and his current role as chief operating officer.
“We expect a seamless transition at the end of August.”
Armes said he has been “privileged and honoured to have led Cooper for nearly a decade through good times and challenging times, and I continue to be most inspired by the quality and dedication of our people around the globe. Working together, we have led Cooper to many years of strong performance.
“Brad has been a positive and influential force at Cooper for more than six years now, and he will be tremendously effective at leading Cooper to even greater success in the years to come.”
Prior to joining Cooper, Armes spent more than three decades at Whirlpool Corp. in leadership positions throughout the business and in multiple geographies. His career highlights at Whirlpool included positions such as senior vice president, Project Management Office; corporate vice president and general director, Whirlpool Mexico; corporate vice president, Global Procurement Operations; president/managing director, Whirlpool Greater China; vice president, manufacturing technology, Whirlpool Asia (Singapore); and vice president, manufacturing and technology, Refrigeration Products, Whirlpool Europe (Italy).
He also serves on the boards of directors of Manitowoc Co. and AGCO Corp. and is a former chairman (2011-2013) of the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
Hughes joined Cooper in November 2009 as vice president and chief financial officer (CFO). In July 2014, he was named senior vice president and president of International Operations, with responsibility for leading all of Cooper’s operations outside of the Americas. He also continued to serve as CFO in addition to his international role until his successor in the CFO role, Ginger Jones, was appointed in December 2014. He was named to his current position in January 2015. In this role, Mr. Hughes has responsibility for Cooper’s worldwide operations throughout North America, Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Formerly a 23-year employee of Ford Motor Co., Hughes previously worked as global product development controller for Ford in Dearborn, Mich.; as finance director for Ford’s South America Operations in Sao Paulo, Brazil; as director of European business strategy and implementation, in Cologne, Germany; as European manufacturing controller, in Cologne, Germany; and in other corporate finance and treasury positions.
Prior to joining Ford, Hughes worked for Fruehauf Finance Corp.
Capo has been a member of Cooper’s board since 2007 and has been lead independent director since 2014.
He served from 2003 to 2010 as the chairman of the board of Dollar Thrifty Automotive Group Inc., a vehicle rental company. He also was senior vice president and treasurer of DaimlerChrysler Corp. from 1998 to 2000, and for seven years prior served as treasurer of Chrysler Corp. Before holding those positions, Capo was vice president and controller of Chrysler Financial Corp. He currently serves as a director of Lear Corp. and served as a director of Dollar Thrifty until its sale in 2012.