SEOUL, South Korea—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. has named Seung Hwa Suh—now president and chief operating officer—global CEO for the South Korean tire maker.
Mr. Suh was the driving force behind Hankook's $625 million car and light truck tire plant in Dunaujvaros, Hungary. The factory—which is expected to start production later this year—is the first European production facility for Hankook.
CEO Choong Hwan Cho will be vice chairman after serving as CEO for nearly 10 years, Hankook said. During his tenure, Hankook rose to be the eighth largest tire maker in the world with a profit margin of 8.4 percent in 2006, the firm said. Hankook expects 23-percent higher global sales this year.
Mr. Suh was named president and COO in January 2006 and served in a variety of positions previously. In 2003, he led a project to reshape Hankook's brand and also was a key figure in the company's renewed distribution channel strategy, which shifted focus from wholesale to more profitable retail partnerships, the company said.
Mr. Suh joined Hankook in 1996. Mr. Cho joined the firm in 1983 as managing director.