Goodyear's Man In The Catbird Seat

SAM GIBARA, GOODYEAR'S NEW president, says he's "not even thinking" about his next job. Right. With his Apr. 10 appointment, Gibara, 55, became the strong favorite to take over as CEO of the $12 billion tiremaker when Chairman Stanley Gault retires at yearend--unless an outsider is named. A 29-year veteran of the company, most recently as chief of North American Tires, Gibara is known for making tough calls. In 1990, when General Motors' J. Ignacio Lpez demanded price cuts and rival Michelin gave in, Egyptian-born Gibara, then Goodyear's European chief, sharply cut supplies to the auto maker. His latest move: a new U.S. sales organization that gives the company's regional managers more autonomy.

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