Goodyear cuts the ribbon late this morning on its new $160 million corporate headquarters off Innovation Way in East Akron.
The seven-story structure is a reflection in many ways on what is a more tightly focused tire maker from how the company was structured and operated in decades past.
For much of its corporate history, Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. had been a conglomerate with disparate business operations, albeit centered around tire making.
Goodyear once had a chemicals division, engineered products division, aerospace division, wheels division, and in the 1980s bought an ill-fated interest in an oil pipeline that kick-started a historic takeover attempt of the company by European financier Sir James Goldsmith.
All of those divisions are now gone. In corporate parlance, they were considered “non-core assets” and sold over the years, in part to pay off massive debt incurred in successfully fighting off the 1986 Goldsmith takeover bid and in part to focus the business on what it does best, designing and making tires.
Goodyear’s core now centers around the state-of-the art, 639,000-square-foot structure connected to the company’s Innovation Center. Ground broke on the headquarters in April 2011, with Goodyear employees finishing the move into the building in April. A parking deck costing $40 million is nearby.
The company officially dedicates its new home starting at 11 a.m. The invitation-only ceremony is not open to the public.
Goodyear Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard Kramer, Lt. Gov. Mary Taylor and Akron Mayor Don Plusquellic will be the featured speakers.
Also attending will be local, county, state and federal officials and representatives of Industrial Realty Group. California-based IRG spearheaded the corporate headquarters project and also bought and is redeveloping Goodyear’s former campus off East Market Street.
Jim Mackinnon can be reached at 330-996-3544 or firstname.lastname@example.org.