Cooper Tire & Rubber snags P&G exec as CMO

Steve’s breakdown: Cooper Tire & Rubber has brought in an ex-engineer as CMO. Brands he’s worked on include Gillette and Duracell.

My guess is, judging by his background, he’s going to be tasked with new product development and expanded distribution to create growth. So there’s the pitch.

FINDLAY, OH: Former Procter & Gamble Co. executive Bryan Hesse has been hired as marketing chief for Cooper Tire & Rubber Co., an Ohio firm that is the fifth-largest tire maker in the United States.

As vice president of marketing for North America tire operations, Hesse is responsible for all aspects of Cooper’s marketing programs in the U.S. and Canada, including branding, product management, pricing and programs supporting the Findlay-based company’s network of distribution partners.

The firm is named for Ira Cooper, a Cincinnati auto parts dealer who founded the Cooper Corp. in Findlay in 1920 to manufacture tires. It became the Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in 1946.

Cooper (NYSE: CTB), which employs 9,000 people and is the 12th-largest tire manufacturer in the world, reported total revenue of nearly $3 billion last year. U.S. market share is 13 percent in the light-vehicle replacement category. Its products include car, truck, motorcycle and racing tires.

Hesse spent a decade with Cincinnati-based P&G (NYSE: PG), where he was focused on growing the Gillette shaving and Duracell battery brands in various sales and marketing leadership roles.

“Bryan has spearheaded the growth of several brands that are household names throughout the United States and globally,” said Phil Kortokrax, vice president of North America tire operations for Cooper. “He has a successful track record of bringing innovative approaches to the management and marketing of products and product lines, deploying market research and analytics at the foundation of programs and then rolling out winning campaigns.”

Hesse joined P&G in 1999 as a project engineer and was soon promoted to manager of new business development for Gillette and Duracell. He became manager of strategic planning and alliances in 2001, working with Duracell leadership to develop long-term growth strategy.

Hesse holds 22 patents, including some for batteries and flashlights. He was named a P&G program manager in 2005 and developed intellectual property strategies for licensing, purchasing, co-development/alliance and company acquisition.

From 2007-09, he was associate director for strategy, marketing and product development for Duracell’s lighting business.

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