By SEMA Editors
Former Uniroyal Tire President Sheldon Robert Salzman passed peacefully December 26, 2017, in Florida.
Born in the Bronx, New York, January 27, 1930, Salzman’s parents moved to Babylon, Long Island, at the start of World War II. After graduating from Babylon High School in 1947, he attended Pratt Institute, where he received a bachelor of chemical engineering degree in 1951.
Immediately upon graduating, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force for service during the Korean conflict. Offered a commission in the U.S. Navy, he transferred to the Naval Officers Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island, and received his commission in Ensign in January 1952.
Upon his release from active service in 1955, he joined Naugatuck chemical division of the U.S. Rubber Company, where he held various manufacturing and research-and-development positions, rising to the head of the engineering development department in 1965.
In 1967, he was transferred to the company’s international division and moved to London as head of the economic analysis group for Uniroyal Ltd. He moved back to the United States in 1968 and took responsibility for distribution/scheduling of all divisional factories in the United States. In 1969, he became factory manager of the division’s largest factory in Naugatuck, Connecticut.
Another transfer to England took place in 1972 where, as managing director of Uniroyal Chemical, Europe, he was responsible for all chemical operations in Europe.
In 1975, he returned to the United States to take over general management of the domestic chemical sales and marketing development. He became president of the Chemical Company of Uniroyal in 1977.
By the fall of 1979, the Uniroyal Tire Co. was hemorrhaging money, and he was asked to take over as president of the company in an effort to stem the bleeding.
Within two years, the tire operations were healthy and referred to by the financial press as “a favorite recovery story” and having made “impressive progress in its turnaround.”
In 1986, Uniroyal was the target of a takeover attempt, and the tire company spun off and merged with the tire operations of the BFGoodrich Co. Salzman became co-chairman and chief operating officer of the Uniroyal Goodrich Tire Co. residing in Akron, Ohio.
In 1987, the merged company was purchased in a leveraged buyout by the employees, and Salzman remained as the head of the company. During this period, he was named by a rubber industry publication as one the six people in the history of the tire industry in the United States who “Had Made a Difference.”
The tire company was purchased by Michelin in 1990, and Salzman retired from active operations and joined the board of the Uniroyal Holding Co.
Salzman was married to Helen Ann since 1953, who predeceased him. He is survived by one son, David, and two grandchildren.