AKRON, Ohio, November 18, 2011 – The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company today held a topping ceremony for its new corporate and North American headquarters in Akron, Ohio, seven months to the day after its groundbreaking.
A steel beam signed by hundreds of Goodyear’s Akron associates was put in place today as many of them, along with Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Richard J. Kramer, watched the live video feed in the Goodyear Theatre. The beam was signed last month during Goodyear’s annual fundraiser for the United Way of Summit County.
And like any big event, the Goodyear blimp was on hand to provide aerial coverage.
“The building represents a significant milestone in Goodyear’s long history, so it is important – and fun – to recognize such a big moment,” said Kramer. “Just as the company has evolved into a modern global business, we are transitioning from our 85-year-old headquarters to a state-of-the-art campus.”
A topping ceremony is a tradition – much like the christening of a ship – held when a new building is erected. An evergreen tree, a symbol of growth and good luck, is placed on the beam as it is hoisted in place.
The headquarters project is scheduled to be completed in early 2013. At that time, Goodyear will relocate about 2,000 associates into the building, which will serve as headquarters for the company’s global operations and its North American tire business. The new building will connect with Goodyear’s existing Innovation Center and serve as a central campus for the company in Akron. The Innovation Center is currently home to more than 800 associates.
As part of the company’s agreement with the project’s developers, Goodyear will lease the office space through 2038 and have potential options through 2093.
Headquartered in Akron since 1898, Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 73,000 people and manufactures its products in 54 facilities in 22 countries around the world. Its two Innovation Centers in Akron, Ohio and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg strive to develop state-of-the-art products and services that set the technology and performance standard for the industry. For more information about Goodyear and its products, go to www.goodyear.com.