ERJ People & Skills Tracker

New Avon financial director… Major reshuffle at Ford Motor… Covestro names new CEO… New Gates EMEA president… Dow’s Liveris delays retirement… New marketing head at Conti UK… New Nokian CIO… New Engel CFO…

August – November

Trelleborg’s 2018 AGM in April next year will vote on the election of current director Hans Biörck as the chairman of the board. In a 15 Sept statement, the Swedish rubber engineering group said current chairman Sören Mellstig, after ten years as a board member including five years as its chairman, has declared that he is not available for re-election. Incoming chairman  Biörck has been a director of the board of Trelleborg since 2009. He has extensive experience in international businesses, where he has actively been involved in issues related to strategy, growth and structural changes, said a release.

Former manufacturing director at Goodyear’s German production factory in Hanau, Josy Blum, has taken the position of manufacturing director at the company’s Luxembourg plant, according to Luxemberuger Post. He replaces John Ries who will take over the management of Hanau plant. Blum started his career at Goodyear in 1989.

Marangoni has announced a new role for Gianluca Merlo, who besides managing the company’s plant at Rovereto, Italy, takes on the responsibility of ‘operations Italia’, thus also managing its plant in Ferentino. Human resources of the entire group will from now on be managed by Michele Bergese, the group added in a statement that also highlighted a number of staff changes and milestones at Marangoni. The changes include the recent appointment of Martin Kalagin as the new head of the central technical service of the company’s Retreading Systems business unit.

Sri Lankan tire maker GRI has added Kurt Verbrugge as its sales director responsible for the European region. Verbrugge joined GRI with over 20 years of industry experience at Camso where he served as OEM sales director EMEA agriculture. Verbrugge is specialised in the fields of agriculture and industrial tires.

Tatarstan-based petrochemicals company Nizhnekamskneftekhim announced on 29 Sept that its chairman Vladimir Busygin, was taking a “well-deserved rest” and has asked to be relieved of his duties as chairman of the board of directors. Ruslan Shigabutdinov (pictured), deputy general director at parent company TAIF has been elected as the new chairman.

Pelmar Group has appointed Enrique Guix as its new sales director EMEA. Effective as of 1 Sept, the appointment is on top of Guix‘s responsibility for the South and Central America market. He will report directly to Robert Adam, managing director of Pelmar Germany, which “has become the hub of all Pelmar Engineering European activity.” Guix has been at Pelmar Group for almost 10 years, following his move from Farrel International after its acquisition by HF.

Semperit AG’s conveyor belts unit Sempertrans has seen new management changes, with former head of technical and operations at Sempertrans Markus Keller taking over as general manager since April.  Additionally, Franz- Otto Geesmann took over as head of operations at Sempertrans in June. He has significant experience in conveyor belts technology, having previously worked with RWE, Thyssenkrupp and FLSmidth.

In August, ContiTech veteran of 22 years Peter Klaus took over as Sempertrans’ head of commercial business. He also worked for three years at Fenner and most recently served as managing director of Fourthane Productive Solutions in Chile.


Avon Rubber has appointed Nick Keveth as group finance director with effect from 1 June 2017. Keveth took over from Paul Rayner, who served as the interim group finance director since 1 Dec 2016 but stepped down from the role on 10 May.

May 2017

Ford Motor announced key global appointments, including naming company veteran Steven Armstrong as head of its European operations.As part of a major shuffle, long-serving Ford executives Raj Nair will be president of Ford North America and Peter Fleet will be in charge of the automaker’s Asia Pacific region, Ford said in a statement on 25 May.

Covestro AG has selected Markus Steilemann as its new CEO, succeeding Bwho will retire next year. Steilemann currently serves as the firm’s chief commercial officer.  (Read more)

Power transmission (PT) and fluid power systems supplier Gates Corp. has appointed Enzo Strappazzon as EMEA president. Prior to joining Gates, Strappazzon worked at Eaton where served as senior vice president and general manager of its EMEA industrial controls & protection division. He also held senior positions with Cooper Industries and Siemens AG.

Dow Chemical Corp.‘s chairman and CEO Andrew Liveris is postponing his retirement to until July 2018 to help the company see through its merger with DuPont, according to IHS Markit’s Chemweek. According to media reports, Liveris will serve as executive chairman of the merged company.

Guy Frobisher, Marketing Director at Continental Tyres (UK) has taken over as head of marketing communication for the passenger and light truck replacement EMEA business at Conti’s German headquarters. Tracy Mortimer, will replace Frobisher as UK marketing director, effective 1 May.

April 2017

Nokian Tyres has appointed Frans Westerlund as its vice president, chief information office (CIO) and Processes, to drive digitalisation at the company. Westerlund will join Nokian’s management team on 1 August and will report to the president and CEO, said a 19 April Nokian statement.


Markus Richter

Austrian machinery group Engel has appointed Markus Richter as chief financial officer to replace Klaus Siegmund, who left the company in March. The appointment will be effective 1 May. (Read more)

Continental AG’s China unit has appointed Enno Tang as its new president, effective 1 June. Tang is currently head of the chassis & safety division, and the vehicle dynamics business unit, China. He will replace Ralf Cramer, who will conclude his contract as planned by mid-August 2017.

Semperit’s long-standing chief technical officer Richard Ehrenfeldner has terminated his activities within the company’s management board as of 15 April, the Austrian rubber technology group has announced.  Michele Melchiorre who was appointed to the management board as the CTO in June 2016 has “gradually assumed” the tasks from Ehrenfeldner, Semperit added.


Christopher Pappas

Trinseo SA CEO and president Christopher Pappas has led the company on a course toward growth. With his focus on safety, technology and financial responsibility, Trinseo said it has tripled its value in the same number of years. Those factors were among the criteria that led the Chemical Marketing and Economics group of the American Chemical Society’s New York Section to select Pappas as the recipient of its Leadership Award for Outstanding Corporate Reinvention. Read more


Ali Çalışkan (above) has become chief executive officer (CEO) of tire cord maker Kordsa, replacing Cenk Alper who has been appointed president of Sabancı Holding Industry Group as of 1 April. Çalışkan has worked at Kordsa for 31 years and served as chief operating officer in charge of the company’s Europe, Middle East and Africa region since 2015.  Read more

Motion and control technologies manufacturer Parker Hannifin Corp. has named a new chief financial officer. Directors of the company elected Catherine Suever, currently vice president and controller and acting CFO, to step into the position effective immediately.


March 2017

Edward Holweg2 600

 VMI Group has appointed Dr Edward Holweg as its new chief operating officer with effect from 1 April.  He succeeds Guido Roncken, who has “decided to pursue other endeavors,” after holding the COO position for over 10 years.

Nokian CEO

Nokian Tyres has appointed Hille Korhonen as its new president and chief executive officer with effect from 1 June, the Finnish tire maker announced 28 March. (Read more)

Semperit AG Holding has nominated Martin Füllenbach as its new chief executive officer to replace the outgoing Thomas Fahnemann, the Austrian group announced 27 March. (Read more)

Bridgestone Americas has hired automotive supply industry veteran Nizar Trigui as chief technology officer. Trigui, most recently CTO and executive vice president for Dura Automotive Systems LLC, assumes and will expand a role held by Steve Charles, vice president of product development for Bridgestone Americas.

Synthetic rubber major Trinseo has elected Joseph Alvarado, K’Lynne Johnson and Jeannot Krecke to its board of directors effective 1 March. The trio assume seats held by Michael Plantevin, Stephen Thomas and Ruth Springham—all members of Bain Capital—who have resigned since the firm had sold its remaining stake of Trinseo in September 2016.


Trelleborg Industrial Solutions, part of the Swedish Trelleborg group, has appointed Jean-Paul Mindermann as its new president effective 1 July. Mindermann will replace Mikael Fryklund, who is leaving Trelleborg to become president and CEO of Hexpol, according to a 17 March statement by Trelleborg.

India’s tire industry body, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA), has appointed Apollo Tyres’  Satish Sharma as its next chairman. Sharma is president, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (APMEA) at Apollo Tyres Ltd and has been with the company for the past two decades in various positions including chief marketing officer and chief of Indian operations.

Semperit CEO Thomas Fahnemann has requested the company’s supervisory board “to immediately release him from his management board contract”, following the successful termination of joint venture transaction with Thailand’s Sri Trang.

Pyrolyx AG’s supervisory board has elected Alexis P. Gurdjian as the new chairman of the company, the German supplier of recovered carbon black (rCB) announced 24 Feb.

Longtime tire industry sales executive Rick Phillips is joining Triangle Tire USA as vice president of sales, effective 1 April. Triangle USA CEO Manny Cicero called Phillips a “proven sales leader who has earned widespread respect in the industry.

Trelleborg has promoted Paolo Pompei, head of the firm’s agricultural tire sector for the past 11 years, to president of Trelleborg Wheel Systems, succeeding the retiring Maurizio Vischi.

Pirelli has promoted Paul Hembery to be executive president of its Latin American region consumer business, succeeding Paulo Dal Pino, who was promoted last fall to CEO of Pirelli Industrial. The change is effective 15 March.

Bridgestone Europe has added two new executive roles in a bid to “drive profitable growth” in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. Laurent Dartoux has been appointed chief strategy and marketing officer (CSMO) and newcomer Riccardo Cichi as chief sales officer (CSO). (Read more)

Datwyler has appointed Paul Haelg as the chairman of board of directors, replacing Ulrich Graf who has stepped down from his position due to age-related reasons.

Cooper Standard Automotive Inc. has appointed Linda Conrad as its vice president of financial planning and analysis. Conrad joined Cooper Standard in 2014 as director, financial planning and analysis, in the corporate accounting group and was eventually promoted to the corporate financial staff.

Major changes are set to take place at the Evonik AG’s executive board with the departure of chairman Klaus Engel in May and chief operating officer Ralph Sven Kaufmann in June. (Read more)

February 2017

Italian Marangoni Group has seen a “high turnover” in management positions since the beginning of February as part of its “generational change”, the company announced 22 Feb. (Read more)

Continental is looking to use upcoming IT and industrial trade fairs in Barcelona and Hanover (CeBIT) to meet experienced and talented people in the field of software development, the company has announced. The company currently employs 13,500 software developers. “For us, IT fairs are an important place to meet new talent,” said Ariane Reinhart, Continental’s executive board member for human relations.

Avon Rubber’s board has appointed Paul McDonald as “group chief executive” following the unexpected departure of former CEO Rob Rennie on 15 Feb. In a statement on the same day, Avon said McDonald succeeded Rennie “who stepped down from the board with immediate effect and left the group to pursue other interests.”

Former Kraiburg management board member and shareholder Peter Schmidt passed away in early February shortly after his 85th birthday. Between 1954 and 1999 Schmidt “participated actively in the company’s operations and as a member of the management board he implemented decisions that shaped the company’s history,” a Kraiburg obituary said.

French Rubber Polymers Centre (CFCP) has appointed Bruno Martin as commercial director. He took up his duties on 2 Jan, succeeding Julien Pimienta.

Camso’s long-time CEO and president Pierre Marcouiller is transitioning to a new role as executive chairman of the board on 1 April. Former Continental AG executive Thomas Boettcher, who was hired in April 2016 as chief operating officer, will become president and CEO.

Datwyler chairman Ulrich Graf will step down at the group AGM on 7 March. Paul Halg, who resigned as CEO at the end of 2016, is to be recommended for election as the new chairman. As was announced in spring 2016, Dirk Lambrecht took over as Datwyler Group CEO on 1 Jan.

Sumitomo Rubber North America has hired former Pirelli Tire North America and Goodyear sales executive David Colletti to be vice president, original equipment. He succeeds Shoichi Fujii, who is taking on new responsibilities at parent Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd’s HQ in Kobe, Japan.

January 2017

Yokohama Rubber Co. has announced a number of changes to the company’s senior management on 31 Jan, including the appointment of current YRC president Hikomitsu Noji to vice chairman of the board and chairman of Alliance Tire Group (ATG). Noji will take over from Toru Kobayashi who took over the job after ATG’s acquisition in July 2016.

Trelleborg board member Jan Carlson is to step down from his position at the company’s next annual general meeting on 27 April. According to Trelleborg, Carlson is “no longer available for re-election and will therefore resign his seat… after three years of commendable work.”

Synthos has appointed Zbigniew Warmuz as the president of the board, following the departure of Thomas Kalwat in December, the Polish speciality chemicals company announced 9 Jan.

Kommerling UK has named Lee Foulkes general manager for its operation in Preston. In addition, the firm has appointed Andrew Carr as its technology manager for Cilbond products, and Phillip Lai has been appointed to the role of regional sales manager, southern region.

Michelin solutions UK team will be leading the fleet management operations of tire maker’s north European operations in addition to its existing responsibilities, the French group announced 20 Jan.

A Brookline, Massachusetts-based entrepreneur and private equity investor has been sentenced to 20 months in prison for initiating an insider trading scheme in connection with the failed acquisition of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. by Apollo Tyres Ltd.

Nokina’s Timo Tervolin will take over the responsibility for global process development at the tire company as of 1 Feb, when current VP for process development Alexej von Bagh leaves. Currently the VP for strategy and corporate development Tervolin holds two MScs in economics and engineering.

Hankook Tire Hungary has appointed Seong Hak Hwang to take over the managing director’s position since the 1 Jan retirement of Sang Il Lee. Hwang joined Hankook in 1987 and has srved as managing director of the Jianxing plant in China.

Trinseo’s executive vice president and chief operating officer Martin Pugh has announced that he will retire effective 1 March. (Read more)

PPG’s its board of directors has elected Vincent Morales to serve as senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO), effective 1 March. Morales is replacing Frank Sklarsky as CFO, who has announced his retirement also effective March 1.

Michelin has appointed Jonathan Layton as national sales manager fleet, UK and Republic of Ireland. A veteran Michelin man, Layton assumes the role after more than 15 years at the company.

UK-based manufacturer of plastics and rubber products, Reddiplex Group, has appointed two new female directors to its board, raising the number of directors from 6 to 8. Jude Chard has been appointed as director & general manager Reddiplex Ltd and Pyroplex Ltd, whilst Teresa Humphries has been appointed as director & general manager Reddiseals Ltd.


December 2016

The chairman of Pyrolyx AG‘s supervisory board, Thorsten Gohlke, will step down for “personal reasons” at the company’s next annual general meeting, according to a company press release. No date has been given for the next AGM but the company’s 2016 AGM was held in August.

Hexpol AB’s nomination committee has proposed CEO and president Georg Brunstam to become the new chairman of the board. Recruitment process for a new president and CEO has started while Brunstam will continue in that position until a new CEO is in place.

Fenner PLC has proposed to its shareholders to support the appointment of Michael Ducey to its board as a non-executive director of the company.

French rubber engineering group, Delmon Group, has appointed former Cooper Standard executive Sylvain Broux as its CEO and shareholder as part of its strategy to grow. (Read more)

Nokian’s board of directors has appointed the head of its Russian operations Andrei Pantioukhov as the interim president and CEO. (Read more)

Orion has named Rodney Taylor as its vice-president, innovation Americas region, the company announced 9 Dec.

US energy giant ExxonMobil has announced that Darren Woods, current president of ExxonMobil, has been elected as chairman and CEO of the company to replace Rex Tillerson, who is retiring after 41 years. The announcement came after Tillerson was named as US secretary of state by president-elect Donald Trump.

Nexen Tire America. has hired industry veteran John Hagan to be executive vice president of sales and Jeffery Perry director of corporate accounts.

Hankook Tire and its holding company Hankook Tire Worldwide have launched a management reshuffle with the appointment of a series of new executives effective on 1 Jan 2017. The appointments include the promotion of Soo-Il Lee, chief operating officer (COO) for Hankook Tire’s Chinese operations, to COO marketing division and corporate management division. (Read more)

Teknor Apex has promoted Matthew Pekrul as OEM market development manager for the TPE Division in North America.

Tim Clayfield has left his positions as global technology leader and senior development specialist at Dow Chemical Co. to take up a role at Resinex (Read more).

Vipal Rubber has appointed US business manager Frederico Schmidt as its European branch general manager, the company announced on 2 Dec.

Dayco has appointed board member Nick Orlando as its chief executive officer, the company announced 1 Dec.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has appointed former Apollo Vredestein marketing and sales director Jaap van Wessum as its sales director for European operations. (Read more)

Semperit AG has appointed Frank Gumbinger as chief financial officer (CFO) for three years, the Austrian medical and industrial rubber products maker announced 1 Dec. (Read more)

Sailun Jinyu International appointed Gareth Passmore as its new president for Europe to replace Martin West, effective on 1 Dec. Passmore will be in charge of operations of the company’s four tire brands in Europe, Sailun, Jinyu, Black Lion and Rovelo.


November 2016

Parker Hannifin‘s chief financial officer, Jon Marten, is taking a temporary medical leave of absence, effective immediately. The company expects Marten, to return to work during the first quarter of calendar year 2017.

Hexpol AB chairman Melker Schörling is to step down from his position on 28 April, according to a 24 Oct statement by the Swedish rubber compounds group.

Continental has appointed Kurt Lehmann as corporate technology officer (CTO), a newly created position which formulate the company’s long-term technological strategy, according to Elmar Degenhart, chairman of the Conti executive board.


October 2016

President and CEO of Bridgestone Europe NV/SA, Paolo Ferrari, has been promoted to vice president and senior officer of Bridgestone Corp., the company has announced. Ferrari will hold the post as of 1 Jan 2017, in addition to his European position.

Paolo Dal Pino, currently CEO of the Latin American region, has been nominated as the chief executive officer of Pirelli Industrial. Also Luigi Staccoli has been appointed general manager of Pirelli Digital, to supervise activities aimed at the digitisation of the company. The company also decided to aggregate all technical structures and sales to OE under the responsibility of general manager technology, Maurizio Boiocchi. (Read more)

Continental Tire the Americas LLC has promoted John DeSalle to president of its Hoosier Racing Tire Corp. subsidiary, which Conti recently acquired.

Italian tire-maker Marangoni has appointed Dino Maggioni, a senior Pirelli manager, as the group’s new chief executive officer to replace Massimo De Alessandri. (Read more)

Avon Rubber’s group finance director Andrew Lewis is to leave the group. Lewis, who was finance director for the last eight years, will oversee the preparation of the 2016 financial statements and step down on 30 Nov, according to an Avon statement issued on 18 Oct.

Pirelli has renewed its agreement with the University of Milano-Bicocca to continue to finance study grants and research projects through the CORIMAV, the Consortium for Research on Advanced Materials. The two institutes have been collaborating in research since 2001.

Joseph Saoud has joined Bridgestone Americas as president, truck and bus radial (TBR), Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations (BATO). In this role, Saoud will be responsible for leading the sales activities for the US and Canadian commercial truck and bus tire business, which includes Bandag retreads.

Evonik Industries has joined the Industrial Internet Consortium (IIC), a global, public-private organisation formed to accelerate adoption and enablement of the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT).

India’s Apollo Tyres has appointed another former Pirelli director Daniele Lorenzetti as its chief technology officer almost a year after bringing ex-Pirelli CEO, Francesco Gori, on-board as strategy advisor. (Read more)

Participants in the Michelin Tyre Academy ‘Class of 2016’ have travelled to the company’s Dundee factory for the course’s second module. Selected from dealerships of Michelin Auto Professional network, the 17 participants took part in combined classroom-based training with a tour of the city’s Michelin tire factory.

A. Schulman Inc. has unveiled another top-level management change. The firm said in a 3 Oct statement that John Richardson will take over as chief financial officer, effective 1 Nov.

Yokohama Rubber Co. has promoted Masataka Yamaishi, head of corporate planning, to president of its tire business unit. He will succeed Hikomitsu Noji, who has held that post since April 2011.


September 2016

Semperit Group’s chief information officer Declan Daly is leaving the company in June 2017 to be the second senior figure not renewing his contract upon expiry. The announcement follows a decision by Semperit CFO Johannes Schmidt-Schultes who said on 9 September that he would not be available for another contract renewal after his second term finishes April 2017.

Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. has announced that Luis Ceneviz will take on the role of managing director, Europe tire operations, effective 1 Oct. Currently managing director of the firm’s Latin America tire operations since March 2015, Ceneviz will serve as both once Jeff Schumaker, who has served as managing director of Europe tire operations since January 2013, assumes the new position of vice president, global manufacturing.

Nokian Tyres’ president and CEO Ari Lehtoranta is resigning his position to pursue new opportunities outside of the company.

The International Rubber Study Group, IRSG, has appointed Salvatore Pinizzotto as its new secretary general.

Black Bear carbon black company has appointed two senior executives Ad van Oorschot and Serge Klunder to its sales team.

Belgian chemicals producer Solvay researcher Sylvaine Neveu has won the Irène Joliot-Curie 2016 award for her work on silica.

Semperit CFO Johannes Schmidt-Schultes has informed the company he will not be available for another contract renewal after his second term finishes April 2017.

Engine products and drive systems supplier, Dayco, has appointed Arnold Mouw as managing director of its business in southeast Asia, Australia and New Zealand.

Cooper Tire & Rubber has completed the transition of its president and CEO role to Bradley Hughes. (Read more)

August 2016

Goodyear has named Joe Zekoski, senior vice president and chief technical officer since 2015, to succeed Gregory Smith as senior vice president, global operations, effective 17 Aug.

Freudenberg Medical has appointed Max Gisbert Kley as its chief executive officer, effective as of 1 Aug, according to the manufacturer of medical rubber appliances.

HF‘s Andreas Limper has been awarded the 2016 Harold Herzlich Distinguished Technology Medal in recognition of his pioneering research in various aspects of  tire technology.


July 2016

Apollo Vredestein BV has appointed industry veteran Matthias Urban as head of sales, succeeding Jaap van Wessum, who spent more than 20 years with the tire maker.

Bridgestone has appointed Paolo Ferrari to the role of president and chief executive officer (CEO) of its Europe, Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) business unit based in Zaventem, Belgium. (Read more)

Continental AG has promoted Enno Straten to managing director of the Commercial Specialty Tires business unit, succeeding Michael Martens, who left the company to pursue interests outside the industry.

Bridgestone Europe has appointed Tom Adams as director of replacement sales at the company’s European consumer business unit.

Cornelia Tietz has been appointed as the new director for EHS and climate action at the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA).

Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd has now appointed Toru Kobayashi as executive vice-president and chairman of Alliance Tire Group following its takeover of the tire company.


June 2016

The HF Group (Harburg-Freudenberger Maschinenbau GmbH) has appointed Jörn Seevers as its managing director, effective 1 July.

Bekaert has appointed Beatríz García-Cos Muntañola as chief financial officer who will join the company 1 July.

Employees at the Dow Corning’s factory in Barry, Wales, are in talks with management concerning an anticipated cut of 115 jobs at the site. The discussions follow the announcement of a global reorganisation by parent company Dow Chemical Co. which will see the reduction of its workforce by 2,500.

Continental AG has appointed Klaus Kreipe as the new head of original equipment truck tires worldwide. He replaced Peter Matzke, who has retired after 40 years.

Fenner PLC chief executive Nicholas Hobson, has stepped down from the board and will leave the group to continue with treatment for his ill health.  Company is in search of a replacement and Mark Abrahams will continue to lead the executive function in the meantime. (Read more)

Nokian Tyres has appointed mergers & acquisitions (M&A) specialist, Timo Tervolin, as vice-president, strategy and corporate development, a new position the company opened in June.

Trelleborg offshore operation has appointed Sebastian Araujo as managing director of its Brazilian manufacturing facility in Macae. (Read more)

Cooper Tire has appointed Bryan Hesse as its vice president of marketing for its North American tire operations, overseeing the firm’s entire marketing programs in the US and Canada.

Dow Corning has named Andrew Tometich as the business president of Dow Corning’s silicones business, following the completion of Dow Chemical Co.’s takeover on 1 June. (Read more)


May 2016

DuPont Performance Materials has appointed Rudy van Engen as its new regional director for the units Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Toyo Tire and Rubber’s chairman and representative director Katsumi Komaguchi resigned on 27 May, after serving the company for less than a year. Komaguchi cited “personal matters” as the reason for his resignation. (Read more)

April 2016

Paul Kirsch, senior vice president, supply chain and operations at Henkel AG & Co is taking over as president of Chemours’ fluoroproducts business, replacing Thierry Vanlancker, who is retiring.  Kirsch will be based at to Chemours global HQ in Wilmington, Delaware.

Previous months

Nexen Tire has appointed incumbent president Travis Kang, son of the company’s chairman Byung-Joong Kang, as its chief executive officer (CEO).

Speciality chemicals distributor Safic-Alcan has reorganised its senior management team in response to recent market expansions.

SRI has named Richard Smallwood, president and CEO of Sumitomo Rubber North America, to the additional post of executive officer of SRI.

Cooper Tire & Rubber has named former Johnson Control’s executive vice president Susan Davis a company director.

Dow Chemical boss Andrew Liveris is retiring and James Fitterling has been appointed the firm’s president and chief operating officer. (Read more)

Kumho Tire has appointed 61-year-old Han-Seob Lee as its new chief executive officerwith immediate effect, the company announced 2 Feb. (Read more)

ContiTech has appointed Claus Peter Spille as the new head of its Air Spring Systems business unit. Spille, who took over at the beginning of January, succeeds Konrad Müller, who is retiring.

Mike Sanislo has been named vice president, RFID Systems at Computype, a supplier of labeling technology, barcoding and tracking systems to the tire & rubber industry.

The Smithers Group has appointed Nathaniel Leonard as president for Smithers Rapra and Smithers Pira.

Fenner PLC’s chief executive officer Nick Hobsonhas taken a temporary leave of absence due to physical ill health, the company announced on 5 Jan.

Larry Williams, chief financial officer of Henniges Automotive is now serving as interim CEO to replace Douglas DelGrosso, who left the firm 4 Jan to become the top executive at Chassix Holdings Inc., a manufacturer of precision casting and machining solutions including precision ductile iron and aluminum chassis components. (Read more)

Toyo Tire Italia SpA has appointed Fabio Merli as its president, the company announced on 16 Dec.

Cabot’s CEO Patrick Prevost will take a temporary medical leave of absence, and expects to return to the company in January 2016 following a minor stroke. In his absence an interim office will report to the board of directors.

Bridgestone has committed its support to the European Pact for Youth initiative, a European Commission and business leaders partnership to boost youth-employment opportunities.

Andreas Gerstenberger has taken over as the head of ContiTech’s global industrial fluid systems business unit and industry hose segment.



Lorenzo Sistinio, general manager of Pirelli Tyre SpA’s industrial business, is leaving the company at year-end after just five months with the Italian tire maker. His duties will pass to Marco Tronchetti Provera, executive vice president and CEO of Pirelli, who will take direct responsibility for the development path of the company’s industrial tire activities in connection with ChemChina’s acquisition of Pirelli.

Michelin Tyre plc has appointed Stewart Pooley as UK original equipment country manager for the company’s truck and bus division.

Toyo Tire & Rubber shareholders have approved the hiring of industry outsider Katsumi Komaguchi as chairman and the promotion of Takashi Shimizu, to president and group executive officer, tire business.  Read more

The Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) announced major changes in its leadership with Anne Forristal Luke joining the association 1 Jan as its new president and CEO, replacing the retiring Charles Cannon.  Also, Gary Garfield, CEO and president of Bridgestone Americas Inc., is taking over for the next two years as RMA board chairman, replacing Michelin America’s Pete Selleck.

Patrick Avril has joined Marangoni Industrial Tyres as general manager for its French subsidiary, Marangoni Industries Manutention, based in Louvres, near Paris.

The International Institute of Synthetic Rubber Producers, Inc. (IISRP) is to honour two of its leaders at its next annual general meeting (AGM) to be held in April 2016. James McGraw, will receive General Award and Guy Wouters, retired from ExxonMobil, will receive the group’s Technical Award.

As of 1 January 2016, Jörg Böcking, 49, will assume the position of chief technology officer (CTO) and Stefan Eck, 46, will take over the position of chief financial officer (CFO) at TrelleborgVibracoustic. The current CTO Jim Law and CFO Norbert Schebesta will act as senior advisors before their retirement in 2016.

Rachel McMullen has been named group operations director – comprehensive at ATS Euromaster, after eight years leading the company’s finance department. In March 2015 she was named UK Finance Director of the Year at the Business Finance Awards.

Cooper-Gary-MichelCooper Tire & Rubber has named Gary Michel a company director, effective immediately. Michel, a 30-year veteran of Ingersoll Rand PLC (IR), is president of IR’s residential heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) business – a post he has held since 2011. He has full responsibility for the management, operations and performance of the HVAC business, which includes brands such as Trane, American Standard, Ameristar and Nexia Home Intelligence, according to Cooper. (Tirebusiness)

Orion Engineered Carbons has announced that Jörg Krüger, senior VP, global operations is leaving the company. The departure seemed linked to an Orion rejig in which departments previously grouped under ‘global operations’ are being distributed to its speciality carbon black and rubber carbon black business lines.

Trelleborg’s offshore operation has made two appointments to increase it service offerings to customers in the oil & gas sector in Brazil.  Project manager Rafael Campos is to handle local contracts to provide clients with quicker and more efficient support on the ground. Sales manager Bruno Matos will grow relationships with local customers and associations, as well as support the business by building a knowledge of local market trends.

Trinseo-Martin Pugh

Martin Pugh

Trinseo has announced a number of leadership changes, including the establishment of a new chief operating officer role, to “add depth” to its executive team. Martin Pugh, currently senior vice president and business president for performance materials, has been named executive vice president and chief operating officer (COO). Current global business director, synthetic rubber Francesca Reverberi will be global business director for the newly created basic plastics business while Samer Al Jabi will replace her.

Pirelli’s board of directors has nominated China National Chemical Corp. chairman Ren Jianxin to be chairman of Pirelli. Ren is to succeed Marco Tronchetti Provera, who has resigned form the position in the wake of ChemChina’s acquisition of majority control of Pirelli. Read more

Carbon black manufacturer, Cabot Corporation, will cut approximately 300 positions globally as part of a restructuring, which aims to save $50 million (€44 million) of costs in 2016 fiscal year. Read more

Nokian Tyre has now announced a shake-up of the operational structure and management-team responsibilities. Changes include the departure of head of Nokian’s passenger car tire operations, Rami Helminen. Read more

Mark Peters has joined Orion Engineered Carbons as senior vice president & general manager, Americas region, based at its Kingwood, Texas HQ. Peters spent 24 years with Dow Chemical, with leadership roles in engineering; plant, site and global business management; and JV development.  Prior to joining Orion, he was manufacturing VP for Goradia Capital, and business development director for Braskem Americas.  He has a BS degree in chemical engineering from Mississippi State University.

The Polymer Society of the IoM3 is inviting nominations for the 2016 Hancock Medal. The closing date is 25 Nov. First awarded in 1951, the Hancock Medal is awarded to an individual for outstanding service to the rubber industry where such services have benefited either the nation, government authorities or industry. Previous winners include Dr Andrew Tinker and Manu Patel.

Bridgestone tire prodn 300 cropPirelli UK is supporting the Apprenticeship Charter, a skills and training initiative backed by trade union Unite and trade unions body TUC.  The management signed the charter on 1 Oct at Pirelli’s Carlisle facility in front of representatives from the unions, skills body Cogent as well as apprentices and managers within its engineering, maintenance and quality departments.

French rubber-industry training body the IFOCA is launching a series of on-line training course for the rubber industry, Christian Caleca, directeur general of the Centre Français du Caoutchouc et des Polymères has announced.

The European tire and rubber manufacturing sector is facing an increasing challenge in maintaining the skills base it needs to ensure the competitiveness of the industry, according to Christian Koetz, president of the ETRMA. Opening a workshop, titled “Innovative Educations Tools”, Koetz said:”With €73 B of turnover and employing 350,000 people across more than 7800 companies around Europe and investing up to 5 percent in R&D, the industry is facing a two-fold challenge: an aging workforce and a difficulty in attracting young talents.” Read more

Ellen Kullman is stepping down as CEO and chairman of DuPont Co. on 16 Oct, while the Wilmington, Delaware-based chemical giant has decreased its earnings outlook for the year. Edward Breen, who led Tyco International out of bankruptcy and joined the DuPont board of directors earlier this year, was named interim chairman and CEO. Read more.

Avon Rubber has appointed Rob Rennie as chief executive officer with effect from 1 Dec – replacing Peter Slabbert who retired from the position on 30 Sept.Rennie has held a number of senior positions at Invensys plc, most recently as president of its energy controls group.The appointment followed an “in-depth external search process which was led by the chairman with the support of the nominations committee,”Avon said in a press release issued 1 Oct.

Thomas Swan has appointed Clive O’Leary as new business director for its performance chemicals division. O’Leary joined the company on 1 Oct joins from AkzoNobel where he recently held the position of business and marketing director, international paint protective coatings.

NokianFinnish tire-maker Nokian will cut 122 jobs and capacity to cut costs, the company announced on 28 Sept.Nokian announced in August that it was holding talks with its 900 workers based in Nokia to restructure its business to save €8 million a year. Read more

Toyo Tire & Rubber’s  board of directors, at a meeting on 29 Sept, nominated candidates to replace its outgoing chairman and president. The Japanese rubber and tire maker has introduced Katsumi Komaguchi as the newly appointed chairman and director and Takashi Shimizu as the president and representative director. Read more

Rolf Sudmann has taken charge of the automotive aftermarket segment at the ContiTech Power Transmission Group as of 1 Sept. He succeeds Helmut Engel who retired after more than 44 years at Continental.

Bridgestone Europe has announced plans to hire engineers at its European Technical Centre (TCE) near Rome – part of an investment plan to expand the Japanese tire maker’s business in Europe.The company is targeting engineers with a range of different experience levels, from recent graduates to experienced individuals, said a 22 Sept announcement. The roles on offer involve designing and developing new products and technologies that improve tire performance on all types of road and in all types of climate. Read more

Union members at Kumho Tire in South Korea have ended their month-long strike to elect a new leader, news reports from Seoul suggest.Korean news agency Yonhap reported on 20 Sept that the strike, which started on 17 Aug, had been suspended as a leadership election was scheduled for 30 Sept, when the current union leader’s tenure is over. Read more

Guy_heywood-MichelinMichelin Tyre plc has appointed Guy Heywood as commercial director of its operations in the UK and Republic of Ireland. Heywood will also continue in his position as head of Michelin’s truck and bus division, which he has held since 2012. The expanded role will see Heywood join the senior leadership team of Michelin Tyre.

Salmiah Ahmad, former head of the Malaysian Rubber Board (MRB), has been appointed as the new chief executive officer of the International Rubber Consortium (IRCo), the operational arm of the International Tripartite Rubber Council (ITRC). Ahmad took charge as the MRB director general in 2008 and had formerly been the deputy director general of the Malaysian Palm Oil Board. Mohd Akbar bin Md Said has now been appointed as the head of the MRB. Akbar served as the deputy director general for research and innovation at the board since 2006.

Orion Engineered Carbons has appointed Erik Thiry as senior vice president, rubber carbon black, the company announced 1 Sept. Thiry has been the senior vice president, business development and a member of the executive management team since May 2012. In his former role, Thiry has worked with Orion’s Rubber and Specialty Carbon Black business lines. He also has over 15 years’ experience in management consulting, including the chemical industry, at a global consulting firm.

Hankook has appointed Antal Takacs as marketing director at its European HQ effective since 1 July.  The main tasks of the 46-year-old will be to further develop the company’s pan-European pricing strategy and reinforce its Europe-wide marketing strategy. Takacs has over 20 years of experience in the automotive and tire industries. He holds two masters degrees, in engineering and economics.