- The Washington Times - Friday, January 17, 2003

AKRON, Ohio, Jan. 17 (UPI) — Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. plans to cut more than 700 salaried jobs in a major restructuring to reduce costs in its North American operations.

Goodyear said about 500 employees will face layoffs, including 350 in Akron where the company has corporate headquarters.

Separately, 34 hourly positions are being eliminated at the Akron Technical Center.

The company will take a pre-tax charge of about $75 million to cover the cost of the reductions, which will be completed by March 1. Goodyear said it expects to save $75 million in 2003 and realize annual savings of $80 million thereafter.

"These decisions were not made lightly," said Robert J. Keegan, president and chief executive officer. "While painful for our associates and the Akron community, they are necessary to accelerate Goodyear's turnaround and help it achieve our goals for growth, market position and financial performance."

Goodyear, the world's largest tire company, has a worldwide workforce of about 92,000 and will continue to employ more than 3,000 people in Akron.

Goodyear shares were down 5 cents at $6.81 Friday morning on the New York Stock Exchange, near the stocks 52-week low of $6.51.

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