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Issue: Apr 2006


Goodyear Moving in Right Direction



Goodyear's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Keegan said the tiremaker remains committed to the strategic direction implemented three years ago to fundamentally change the company

by Rob White

In his address at The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company's 2006 Annual Shareholder Meeting, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Robert J. Keegan said the tiremaker remains committed to the strategic direction implemented three years ago to fundamentally change the company.

"Innovation, quality and a sharp market focus continue to drive Goodyear in the right direction," he said. "We believe we are taking the required steps to drive improving future performance."

Keegan cited the company's important financial milestones in 2005, including record sales, net income double the 2004 level, and growth in its business segments.

According to Keegan, the consistent courage of Goodyear's associates, along with aggressive goals and a passion for winning, has been critical in embracing, anticipating and shaping change within the company.

He also stressed the importance of product and brand leadership, noting that recent innovative and successful new products were the result of an approach that puts the market and consumer in the forefront of the company's decision-making process.

"Thanks to the capabilities of our scientists, engineers and marketers, we are creating relevant technology that consumers want," he said.

The ability to identify consumer needs and make product differentiation easy for consumers to understand is helping Goodyear grow its brands and to quickly capitalize on attractive market opportunities, resulting in a richer product, brand and customer mix.

Keegan cited examples such as: RunOnFlat tires, being promoted in Europe to address consumers' concern of being stranded by a flat tire; TripleTred technology, with distinctive tread zones for varying conditions, to reduce anxiety associated with changing weather conditions in North America; and Silent Armor with Kevlar, which delivers the durable, smooth ride desired by pickup and SUV drivers.

"We are a fundamentally different company today than we were three years ago, and a considerably stronger competitor," he said.

"These initiatives -- and more -- will help us continue on the right path for the Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company and its shareholders.

"We see ourselves much differently today," he said. "We see ourselves not as an auto supplier as some would characterize us, but rather as an aggressive marketing company. That change for us is huge."

Goodyear is the world's largest tire company. The company manufactures tires, engineered rubber products and chemicals in more than 100 facilities in 29 countries around the world. Goodyear employs more than 80,000 people worldwide. For more information about Goodyear go to http://www.goodyear.com/corporate/

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