COLOMBO, Sri Lanka — Specialty tire maker Global Rubber Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. (GRI) has hired Michael Connor as its U.S. director of sales, overseeing GRI's sales, marketing, operations and customer service in North America.
The position will cover GRI's materials-handling, agriculture and construction product lines.
Connor has held key positions with several tire companies, according to GRI, including president and CEO of Global Tire Supply L.L.C.; director of original equipment sales for GPX International Inc.; and director of original equipment for Balkrishna (BKT) Tire America.
Most recently, Connor was regional operations manager at McCarthy Tire Co.
GRI Managing Director Prabhash Subasinghe said the U.S. is a significant market, "and Michael joins us at a time when we are at a crucial inflection point in our 20-year business to pivot the company into a new trajectory of growth.
"With his greater than three-decade-long experience in the specialty tire sector, he will play a vital role in our endeavors to provide best in class services to our customers, and drive GRI's ambition to become a leading player in the US market."
Connor's hiring is in addition to other moves GRI has taken recently to bolster its U.S. business, including the opening of a corporate office at Research Triangle Park (RTP) in North Carolina in order to provide access to the company's growing customer bases across the U.S.
Sri Lanka-based GRI produces specialty tires, including material handling solid tires, radial agriculture tires and construction tires, that are manufactured using pure natural rubber in Sri Lanka.
In July, GRI completed Phase II of a $100 million expansion at its plant in Sri Lanka, which will nearly double capacity at the plant to 60 metric tons per day, in order to support increased agricultural demand in several key markets including the U.S., Europe and Australia.