NEW YORKJaiheon Jack Kim, former Hankook Tire America Corp. executive and a strategic business associate at Tire Consultants Group L.L.C., died Oct. 7.
Mr. Kim, a resident of Wyckoff, N.J., was a 36-year industry veteran. A specialist in building brands and broadening markets,
Mr. Kim spent the bulk of his professional career at Hankook, where he served as a C-level executive for 17 years.
For the past year Mr. Kim was a strategic business associate for Tire Consultants Group.
Mr. Kim was part of the Global HQ (Seoul, South Korea) planning team that brought Hankook Tire to the U.S. in 1982. During his U.S. tenure with Hankookin roles ranging from general manager to executive vice president and COO the company went from a virtually unknown import brand to the seventh-largest tire brand sold in the U.S., according to a former tire industry executive and acquaintance.
A citizen of the U.S., Mr. Kim studied at Korea University and went on to staff and manage the tire department at Hyosung Corp. (General Trading Co.) from 1978 to 1985, when he made a plan to establish Hankook in the U.S. He managed the North America section for Hankook Tire Korea in 1986, and from 1987 to 1994 was Hankook Tire's marketing manager.
From 1994 to 1996 Mr. Kim was team manager for Hankook Tire Korea's North American and European markets, general manager for Hankook Tire America and oversaw Hankook's ASA Wheel division.
From 2001 to 2004, Mr. Kim was executive vice president and COO for Hankook Tire. From 2005 to 2010, he worked as an independent agent for the tire maker.