The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. on Thursday announced the appointment of two executives to senior leadership positions, effective Jan. 1.

Jon Bellissimo will become senior vice president for global operations and technology, while Laura Duda will move up to senior vice president of global communications and chief communications officer.

"I am excited to welcome Jon and Laura to Goodyear’s senior leadership team," said Richard J. Kramer, Goodyear's CEO and president, in a news release. "They are proven leaders who will bring both innovative thinking and deep industry knowledge that will position Goodyear for the future."

Bellisimo, vice president of Americas Product development and head of Goodyear chemical, succeeds Joe Zekoski, who will retire after a career of nearly 40 years at Goodyear. He brings four decades of experience in the design, development and manufacturing of Goodyear products to the new role. He also served as director of Goodyear’s Innovation Center in Akron.

Duda, vice president of Americas Communications, now will lead all aspects of Goodyear’s global communications. She succeeds Paul Fitzhenry, who has served as the company's chief communications officer since 2012 and is returning to the East Coast to join his family and pursue his next opportunity. Duda joined Goodyear in 2016 with nearly two decades of experience in the energy industry.

Kramer lauded the contributions of Zekoski and Fitzhenry, saying their "tireless work and commitment to Goodyear has had a lasting impact."