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AirBoss hires ex-Veyance CEO Toppen as president

NEWMARKET, Ontario—AirBoss of America Corp. has named Tim Toppen, former president and CEO of Veyance Technologies Inc., as its president, effective Jan. 6. Toppen will be responsible for AirBoss' rubber compounding, engineered products, auto parts and defense businesses, according to Chairman Gren Schoch.

Toppen spent 32 years at Veyance and Goodyear, where he served as president of Goodyear Chemical and then headed up Goodyear Engineered Products, where he was president when it was sold and became Veyance. He was replaced at Veyance in late 2010 and most recently was chairman and CEO of TruVitals Inc., a private medical device company.

Schoch said AirBoss is “thrilled that we have been able to attract an individual of the quality and experience of Mr. Toppen to lead our growth plans for the future. His career in the rubber industry both in North America and abroad makes him an ideal candidate to spearhead our continued growth.”

AirBoss of America develops, manufactures and sells proprietary rubber based products to transportation, military and industrial markets. Airboss said it has a capacity to supply more than 250 million pounds of rubber compound annually to a diverse group of rubber manufacturers. The firm's AirBoss-Defense subsidiary is a rubber chem-bio protective wear provider, and its Flexible Products unit supplies anti-vibration products to the North American automotive market.

In late November, Schoch was named interim CEO at AirBoss when CEO Robert Hagerman took a medical leave of absence to recover from complications from a minor injury. Additionally, Stephen Richards, vice president of finance, assumed the additional responsibilities of chief operating officer.

Hagan among three added to Kumho U.S.A. sales force

RANCHO CUCAMONGA, Calif.—Kumho Tire U.S.A. added three to its sales force.

The company appointed John Hagan to national sales vice president, Kirk Papazian as vice president of sales for the western division and Stephen Clave to vice president of sales for the eastern division.

Hagan will lead Kumho's sales team. He brings 20 years of industry experience and was most recently responsible for sales in passenger, light truck and commercial tires for Toyo Tires' U.S. market. He fills a position vacated recently by Armand Allaire, who left Kumho to become vice president of marketing for Giti Tire USA Ltd., the North American distribution arm of China's Giti Tire Pte. Ltd.

Papazian was formerly sales director for American Tire Distributors/Tire Pros. Prior to his time with ATD, Papazian was vice president of sales, western zone manager, for Am-Pac Tire Distributors. He joined Kumho in September.

Clave has 15 years of tire industry experience in sales and marketing, including 12 years with Pirelli. He most recently was with American Tire Distributors and joined Kumho in November.

Hankook appoints new COO for European market

NEU-ISENBURG, Germany—Hankook Tire Co. Ltd. appointed Ho-Youl Pae to chief operations officer and head of its European business unit.

Pae, 55, has been with the company since 1986 and has more than 28 years of industry experience, including managing sales operations for 15 years at Hankook Tire regional offices in Germany, Belgium and the U.S., as well as more than seven years at top management positions, Hankook said.

He spent the last two years serving as senior vice president for Hankook's marketing strategy planning division.

During his tenure at Hankook Germany and its European headquarters in 1989-96, Pae accumulated understanding and knowledge about the European automotive market and contributed greatly to the company's business growth in the region, Hankook said.

He also played a role in driving Hankook's brand equity in the American region through various marketing efforts and activities as a marketing team manager and chief operating officer at Hankook Tire America.

He replaces Jin-Wook Choi, who has taken over an advisory role at the company's global headquarters. Among Choi's accomplishments during his tenure in Europe was overseeing expansion of Hankook's tire plant in Hungary.