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Date 04/03/2007 Hits67,335

Category Corporate

Hankook Tire Appoints a New Global CEO

Hankook Tire Appoints a New Global CEO

■ Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, the head of European operations, promoted to the global CEO
■ Mr. Choong Hwan Cho, after 9 years tenure as CEO, promoted to Vice Chairman

SEOUL, KOREA 5TH MARCH – Hankook Tire (, one of the leading global tire manufacturers, today announced the appointment of Mr. Seung Hwa Suh, current President and COO of Hankook Tire Europe to the position of global CEO. Mr. Suh, who has been the driving force behind the company’s 500 million Euro investment in its first European production facility in Dunaujvaros, Hungary officially signed into the position by the board this morning. 

Cho, Choong Hwan moves to Vice Chairman after nearly ten years as CEO. Mr. Cho was one of the longest serving professional CEOs of a Korean corporation and was appointed in December 1997. During his tenure he oversaw the company’s rapid rise to become the 8th largest tire manufacturer in the world and leaves the post on a high with a healthy profit margin of 8.4% posted in 2006.

As well as having been a driving force behind the company’s first European production facility, Mr. Suh assumed his role as President and COO of Hankook Tire Europe in January 2006 and was a key figure behind the restructuring the European Office into a holding company in 2006. The European operation recorded a 15% increase from 2005. The European operation accounts for 35% of Hankook Tire’s exports.

Mr. Suh brings a wealth of international business expertise with more than half of his 34 year career working in either exports or overseas departments and offices.  Mr. Suh served as executive vice president of the company’s Marketing Division from 2003 to 2005 and as executive vice president of the Overseas Sales from 2001 to 2002 and the vice president of Hankook Tire America Co., Ltd. in 1997. In addition, he led a successful project to reshape the Hankook Tire brand in 2003, and has been a key figure behind the company’s renewed distribution channel strategy, which has seen it shift from wholesale to focus more on more profitable retail partnerships. 

He joined the company in 1996 as a director for overseas marketing after he formerly worked for Hyosung Group from 1973. Mr. Suh studied Politics and International Relations at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies.

Mr. Cho joined Hankook Tire in 1983 as a managing director before becoming CEO in 1997.  He previously worked for Samsung Corporation where he became a director in 1979. He was a president of the Korea Tire Manufacturers Association in the past and he is also currently the chairman of the Korea-Denmark Economic Cooperation Committee. Mr. Cho studied Law at Seoul National University.

[Mr. Seung Hwa Suh’s Profile]


● Name: Seung Hwa Suh
● Education:
   - B.A. at Politics and International Relations at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (1971)
● Experience:
   - Entered Hankook Tire as a Director for Overseas Marketing (1996)
   - Vice President, Hankook Tire America Co., Ltd. (1997)
   - Executive Vice President, Overseas Sales (2001)
   - Executive Vice President, Marketing Division (2003)
   - President and COO, Hankook Tire Europe Regional Headquarters  (2006)

About Hankook Tire Co., Ltd.

Hankook Tire (CEO: Seung Hwa Suh) is one of the world’s largest and fastest growing tire manufacturer for radial tires for passenger cars, light trucks (SUVs, RVs, and etc.), trucks, and buses. Hankook Tire also develops cutting-edge technologies to upgrade customer satisfaction through high-quality products. Through sales in 170 countries around the world, Hankook Tire is ranked 8th in global sales revenue. The company has more than 12,000 employees in 5 Regional HQs, 9 Sales Offices, 11 Subsidiaries and 5 R&D Centers around the world and makes 70% of revenue through overseas markets.

For more information, please visit Hankook Tire’s web site at


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