Michigan - Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co President and Chief Executive Richard Kramer has been elected chairman of the largest U.S. tire maker effective October 1, the company said on Tuesday.

Kramer, 46, succeeded Bob Keegan as chief executive of Goodyear in mid-April after working for three years as head of its North American Tire unit and then as chief operating officer. Keegan is retiring from the company, Goodyear said.

Keegan joined Goodyear in 2000 as chief operating officer and was named president and CEO in 2003, overseeing a multiyear restructuring for the tire maker.

In late July, Goodyear reported second-quarter earnings that exceeded Wall Street expectations, though analysts remain wary about the cost of raw materials in the second half of the year and the uncertain pace of the U.S. economic recovery.

The tire maker has focused on selling a higher percentage of more expensive tires to drive profits. About two-thirds of its tire sales are to the replacement market and one-third to manufacturers for new vehicles.

(Reporting by David Bailey, editing by Matthew Lewis)