Cooper names new senior VP and president of North America

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Christopher Ball has been named senior VP of Cooper Tire & Rubber Company and president of North America Tire Operations (NATO), effective March 19. Ball will report to Brad Hughes who is president and CEO and will take over from Phil Kortokrax who has been promoted to senior VP, global operations and procurement.

In his new role, Ball (left) will be responsible for formulating and driving execution of strategic plans to grow Cooper’s business within the dealer-distributor network as well as in new sales channels. He will work closely with the company’s operations and technical teams in the USA, which focus on the design and manufacture of quality tires in safe and sustainable facilities, including four manufacturing plants, as well as supply chain operations.

Ball joins Cooper following a 15-year career with Whirlpool Corporation.

Hughes said, “We are pleased to welcome Chris to our executive leadership team. He is a talented global executive with significant commercial experience, and the energy and demonstrated leadership capabilities to help us achieve our strategic growth objectives.”

Ball holds a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University’s Kelley School of Business and a master of business administration (MBA) from the executive master’s program at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.

As senior VP, global operations and procurement, Kortokrax (right), who has been with Cooper for nearly three decades, is responsible for overseeing the company’s global manufacturing operations, which includes eight tire manufacturing plants on three continents, as well as global procurement. He is also responsible for Cooper’s emerging global original equipment (OE) and worldwide truck and bus radial (TBR) tire businesses.

“During his long tenure with Cooper, Phil has served in many different functional areas within the company and brings deep expertise to his new role. With this promotion, he returns to lead manufacturing, but this time on a global scale in recognition of the importance of our worldwide production footprint,” Hughes said.

“We look forward to his contributions as we work to continuously improve product quality, maintain our focus on safety, and continue to enhance efficiencies at our plants around the world.”

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Rachel's career in journalism began around five years ago when she started working for UKi Media & Events, having recently graduated from Coventry University where she studied the subject. Her favourite aspect of the job is interviewing industry experts, including researchers, scientists, engineers and technicians, and learning more about the ground-breaking technologies and innovations that are shaping the future of the automotive and tire industries.

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