AKRON, Ohio, March 14 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/-- The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company (NYSE: GT) today announced that Darren Wells has been appointed senior vice president of finance and strategy for the company effective immediately. Wells, 41, previously served as senior vice president, business development & treasurer. (Logo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20050204/GTLOGO) With the announced appointment of Chief Financial Officer Richard J. Kramer to run the North American Tire Business as its president, Wells assumes Kramer's former responsibility for the company's overall strategy development. In addition, Wells retains his finance responsibilities, which include treasury, investor relations, business development and tax. Goodyear Chairman and CEO Robert J. Keegan said that until the company names a new chief financial officer Kramer would retain responsibility for that position along with his new assignment in North American Tire. Simultaneously, Damon Audia has been named the company's vice president and treasurer, replacing Wells, with the responsibility for the company's capital markets, banking, risk management and benefits financing activities. "Darren has been pivotal in the finance team's design and execution of Goodyear's complex refinancing and capital structure improvement over the past four years," said Keegan. "That allowed the company time to successfully implement critical elements of its strategy." Keegan added that Wells' accomplishments under such a challenging set of circumstances established his considerable strategic skills and makes him well suited to work directly with him to help Goodyear develop its future strategy. "Damon was instrumental in the execution of the plans to refinance the company and his experiences with Goodyear and previously at Delphi provide him an ideal base for our company's requirements," Keegan said. "He's had extensive experience in executing complex transactions for multi-national companies." Wells joined Goodyear in August of 2002 as vice president and treasurer. In May of 2005 he was named senior vice president of business development and treasurer. Prior to Goodyear he served two years as assistant treasurer of Visteon Corporation, assisting with the spin-off from Ford Motor Company. He worked for Ford Motor Company from 1989 until joining Visteon in a variety of assignments including finance director for Ford Credit, Australia. A native of Indianapolis, Wells earned a bachelor of arts degree from DePauw University and an MBA in finance from Indiana University. Audia, 36, joined Goodyear as assistant treasurer, capital markets in December 2004 from Delphi Corporation, where he served in a variety of treasury and financial roles. He joined Delphi as manager, Capital Planning & Pensions Analysis in 1998, and held positions including manager, Capital Markets; director, Capital Planning & Structured Finance; director, Corporate Finance & Capital Markets, and product line director for the company's Automotive Holdings Group. Prior to Delphi, Audia spent time with General Motors, Merck and Ford Motor Company in a variety of finance positions. A native of Detroit, Audia holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Michigan, and earned a Master of Science in Industrial Administration (MBA) from Carnegie Mellon University. Goodyear is one of the world's largest tire companies. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 90 facilities in 28 countries around the world. Goodyear employs more than 75,000 people worldwide.
SOURCE The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company