Putting People First in the Tire Business with Sullivan Tire’s Paul Sullivan [Audio]

Putting People First in the Tire Business with Sullivan Tire’s Paul Sullivan [Audio]

Sullivan Tire's Paul Sullivan details the company's humble beginnings and how it continues to take care of its 1,400+ team.

Sullivan Tire is a name synonymous with the tire business. Yet when Bob Sullivan decided to take a risk and start the business in 1955, he was working out of a little red garage in Rockland, Massachusetts, that he rented for $150 per month. At that time, the Sullivan family had eight kids—eight mouths to feed—yet Bob was determined to go in business for himself and pursue the American dream.

Fast forward 68 years, and now his kids have taken over and are shareholders in the business, which has grown to 117 locations, across its retail, wholesale and commercial divisions in New England.

Bob’s son, Paul, now the company’s vice president, started as a young lad in the business and worked his way up under the tutelage of his father and older siblings. He not only has helped grow Sullivan Tire’s footprint but also its brand recognition in the markets it serves. In this episode of Johnny g & Friends, presented by Firestone, find out how Paul lives out Bob’s mission of treating everyone—customers and employees—like they’re a part of the Sullivan Tire family.


  • The story of how Bob Sullivan started Sullivan Tire and why Bob’s employees referred to him as “The Chef” (1:57)
  • One of the biggest lessons about business Bob taught Paul, who carries it out to this day (6:07)
  • Paul’s memories of working in the tire business—complete with props! (8:35)
  • Ways the Sullivan family maintains relationships with Sullivan Tire’s 1,400-plus employees (10:17)
  • Challenges of growing Sullivan Tire in the 70s (12:38)
  • With Sullivan Tire sponsoring major New England sports teams, Paul details his favorite athlete he’s worked with and how these partnerships help the Sullivan Tire brand (15:21)
  • How Paul feels Joe Zaccheo, president of CEO of Sullivan Tire, will lead the business into its third generation (21:19)
  • Future growth plans for Sullivan Tire (24:13)
  • Rapid Fire Questions (27:01)

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