NOVI, Mich., July 12, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc. (NYSE: CPS) today announced the appointment of Christopher E. Couch to the newly created position of vice president, innovation and product groups effective July 11. Couch will report to Keith Stephenson, executive vice president and chief operating officer.
With more than 20 years of global automotive manufacturing experience garnered through technical, strategic and senior executive roles at both automakers and tier one suppliers, Couch will lead Cooper Standard's i3 Innovation Process from idea inception to commercialization. Utilizing his expertise in business development and advanced engineering, he will work closely with core product line leaders to develop market strategies and work in tandem with Cooper Standard's global regions to execute these strategies in support of global customers.
"Our i3 Innovation Process has already spawned several breakthrough innovations, especially in material science and lightweighting," said Stephenson. "Chris joins Cooper Standard at a pivotal time, as his extensive experience in commercial development and product innovation will provide the technical leadership required to realize the full potential of the groundbreaking innovations."
Couch most recently served as chief technical officer and global manufacturing vice president at Lear Corp. in Southfield, Mich. where he drove and evolved the company's strategic technical direction. He joined the company in 2013 as a senior executive responsible for advanced engineering, advanced manufacturing, advanced sales and cost optimization.
He worked at Johnson Controls, Inc. from 2006 to 2013, holding a variety of leadership positions based in Korea and Japan. He was group vice president for Johnson Controls Asia-Pacific, responsible for regional operations, including advanced development, engineering, program management and manufacturing at all wholly owned and joint-venture affiliates. He also held a variety of senior commercial positions in the Asia Pacific Region.
From 2002 to 2006, Couch held roles of increasing responsibility at Toyota Motor Corp. During his tenure, he was the first non-Japanese employee hired and fully trained as an engineer, as well as the first non-Japanese employee promoted to management in Japan. Fluent in Japanese, he is trained in the Toyota Production System and lean principles.
Couch earned a Bachelor of Science in mechanical engineering, a Master of Science in mechanical engineering as a Hughes Aircraft Company Masters Fellow and a doctorate degree in operations management with a finance concentration as a National Science Foundation Fellow from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T.) in Cambridge. He has also published numerous technical articles.
About Cooper Standard
Cooper Standard, headquartered in Novi, Mich., is a leading global supplier of systems and components for the automotive industry. Products include rubber and plastic sealing, fuel and brake lines, fluid transfer hoses and anti-vibration systems. Cooper Standard employs approximately 30,000 people globally and operates in 20 countries around the world. For more information, please visit www.cooperstandard.com.
Contact: Sharon S. Wenzl
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SOURCE Cooper-Standard Holdings Inc.