New Managing Director Appointed to Goodyear Tyre & Rubber Holdings

Goodyear has announced the appointment of Derek De Villiers as Managing Director of Goodyear South Africa, effective May 1

Derek De Villiers replaces Gordon Murdock who is retiring after 27 years with the company, following a period of special assignment to Jarro Kaplan, President of Goodyear's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region. 

Since August 2001 De Villiers has been Managing Director of Goodyear Middle East, based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He has been responsible for more than 60 countries in the region. De Villiers' replacement will be announced in the near future. 

Kaplan said: "Derek has done an excellent job in taking our Middle East business from a break-even position to one where in 2005 we enjoyed healthy profitability. His extensive previous experience in South Africa will be a tremendous advantage for our business there. He knows and understands the South African business environment and will lead our team in a positive manner." 

De Villiers was born in Taung, South Africa on December 1 1947. He started his career with Firestone in South Africa in 1965, holding a variety of sales and marketing positions. Between 1974 and 1982 he was Regional Sales Manager for Mastertreads, a retail tyre group, in Kimberley. 

From 1983 until 1986 he held the position of Regional Director for Tredcor (the holding company for Mastertreads and TrenTyre) in Johannesburg and for the following three years held a similar position in Bloemfontein. 

In 1994 he was appointed Sales and Marketing Director for Tredcor in Cape Town before being promoted to Managing Director in 1997. From 1994 to 2000 he was also a director of Contred (the holding company for Goodyear and TrenTyre). 

De Villiers has attended several executive management courses, including the Goodyear Global Leaders' programme, the Mahler Executive programme and the Anglo Vaal executive development programme. 

Paying tribute to Murdock's career, Kaplan said: "Gordon has had a long and varied career with Goodyear. Although his background was in manufacturing for the past five years he has successfully led the South African team, managing the largest and most complex element of our region's business. We appreciate his efforts and wish him an enjoyable, healthy retirement. 

Murdock was born on October 20 1951 in Cleveland, Ohio, USA. In 1969 he entered the US Military Academy at West Point where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in engineering in 1973. He spent six years on active duty serving in Germany and the USA before joining Goodyear in 1979. 

After four years in Akron, Ohio as a quality control engineer he transferred to the Goodyear Technical Centre in Luxembourg as a development engineer. The following year he joined the production staff at the company's Cisterna, Italy plant. In 1985 he was named team leader for tyre uniformity at Goodyear's plant in Phillipsburg, Germany. 

In 1987 he returned to the USA as Manager of Tyre Manufacturing Uniformity. One year later Murdock was named Production Manager at the company's Gadsden, Alabama plant, moving, after four years to a similar position at the Lawton, Oklahoma plant. Two years later he was promoted to Plant Manager 

In 1999 he was named Director, Manufacturing, for the company's Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region, a post he held until moving to South Africa in 2001. 

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