Mr. Smallwood has been SRNA's president and CEO since 2016, when that entity took over most of Falken Tire Corp.'s activities in North America. He joined Falken in 2000 as vice president of sales and marketing and was promoted to president of Falken in 2006.
Prior to that he worked for Yokohama Tire Corp.
He also is an executive officer for Kobe, Japan-based SRI, as well being on the board of directors for Sumitomo Rubber USA.
Upon retirement, Mr. Smallwood will become chairman of the board for SRNA, an adviser for SRI and will retain his position on SRUSA's board of directors.
During his tenure, Mr. Smallwood has overseen the expansion of the brand from its small presence in North America to one with a thriving U.S. factory (located in Tonawanda, N.Y.) and several racing championships, including in Formula Drift and in other motorsports, from off-road to IMSA.
North America represents over 21% of SRI's global sales, according to the company's latest financial report.
Among Mr. Smallwood's accomplishments, according to SRNA, are:
- Expansion of its original equipment presence;
- Repositioned the firm's "sister: Ohtsu brand;
- Boosted the Dunlop motorcycle brand;
- Built a new corporate headquarters near Los Angeles; and
- Added training and customer service programs for Falken retail dealers through the Falken Academy.
SRI announced earlier this year that it plans to invest $122 million over the next few years to increase capacity for car, light truck and medium truck tires at its factory in Tonawanda, in an effort to support sales growth for these products in North America.
Earlier this year, Mr. Smallwood was one of only a few high-profile figures who testified before the International Trade Commission in that body's hearings on whether to impose antidumping and/or countervailing import duties on passenger and light truck tire imports from South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.
SRNA relies on SRI's factory in Thailand for a share of the tires it sells in the U.S. The ITC voted later to impose duties on South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand.
"Our company is filled with extremely talented and dedicated people all working together to build our business and provide our customers with quality tires that give them lasting experiences," Mr. Smallwood said. "It has been such an incredible honor to work here."
Since 1995, Mr. Thomas has worked with Mr. Smallwood. He joined Falken in 2001, where he held several sales and marketing roles at SRNA before becoming the COO. SRNA said Mr. Thomas is "highly regarded for his aggressive and analytical style."
"Every day has been different — busy, for sure — and we have collectively achieved so many results," Mr. Smallwood said.
"I'm proud of what's been accomplished during my time here and I know that SRNA is in great hands with Darren taking over, as he's been a big part of the company's tremendous growth and expansion as well."
Mr. Smallwood, car and motorcycle enthusiast, also will spend time pursuing his many hobbies in his workshop and outdoors.