Published on December 9, 2013

Allaire leaves Kumho

By Jennifer Karpus, Tire Business staff

PUNTA CANA, Dominican Republic (Dec. 9, 2013) — As part of a number of recent personnel changes at Kumho Tire U.S.A. Inc., Armand Allaire, former national sales vice president, has left the company.

Before joining Kumho in 2010, Mr. Allaire was formerly vice president of sales for Toyo Tire USA Corp.

Harry Choi, CEO and president at Kumho Tire, told Tire Business during the 2013 Kumho Dealer Meeting in Punta Cana that although Mr. Allaire’s leaving came as a bit of a surprise, the company is moving forward and is looking for his replacement.

Kumho officials did not comment on why Mr. Allaire decided to leave the company.

Stay tuned to tirebusiness.com for updated information on this development.

Mr. Choi said he did not want to hire someone based on just necessity, but someone who is qualified.

“We are trying to find the right person,” he said. “(We) didn’t want to hire only by urgency.”

The company prefers to methodically search for a replacement for Mr. Allaire, according to Mr. Choi, rather than just hire someone to fill the post, find that the person might not be a good fit and have to go through the process again.

The revolving door of personnel changes for Kumho this year have included Mr. Choi himself coming on as CEO and president in January to replace J.B. Kim. Rick Brennan, Kumho Tire’s former vice president of marketing, also left the company earlier in 2013 to join Falken Tire Corp. as the company's executive director of product strategy.

Mr. Choi said it has been “a process” to get through the turnover in the sales department this year, but compared the situation to an automobile, saying sometimes you have to put a new engine into a car.

The company is “not fully reshaped,” he said, but is “almost redone.”

Kirk Papazian, divisional vice president of sales who came on board two and a half months ago, said Mr. Allaire’s absence has not changed Kumho’s direction.

“Our goal is to build stability,” he added.

Kumho has put an emphasis on becoming more flexible to meet its dealers’ needs over the past year.

Mr. Choi said the new vice president of sales will be announced soon.

To reach this reporter: jkarpus@crain.com; 330-865-6143.

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