Hankook Tire America Corp., announced recently that Soo II Lee will assume the role of president effective this month. Lee succeeds Hosung Suh who began his term as president in July of 2017. Lee previously served as president and COO of the America headquarters from 2009 through 2012.
Suh will return to Hankook’s global headquarters in Seoul, Korea to take over a new position this month.
“I am looking forward to the opportunity to lead Hankook Tire’s team in America,” said Lee. “As we move into this new decade, I am excited about being able to continue the growth of our American headquarters as well as implement the necessary strategic initiatives that will continue our goal of becoming a global leader in the tire industry.”
Lee received his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Michigan State University in 1996. He began working at Hankook in 1987 and has held many executive level positions during his tenure. In 2009, he was selected as president and COO for the American Headquarters. In 2017, he was appointed executive VP and chief marketing officer and chief corporate management officer at Hankook’s global headquarters in Seoul, Korea. He was promoted to president and COO of Hankook’s global headquarters in 2018.
“As a proven leader, Lee brings his wealth of Hankook knowledge and experience back to America,” said Hosung Suh, outgoing America Headquarters President. “He will help us continue to elevate our brand and continue our growth in the region. He also understands the value of customer service and our commitment to excellence in manufacturing high-quality products for North American consumers.”
Under Suh’s tenure, Hankook Tire opened its first state-of-the art 1.5 million square foot manufacturing facility in the United States in Clarksville, Tennessee, in October 2017. The opening of the plant expanded the company’s global footprint by solidifying its commitment to innovation, technology and growth in North America. The Tennessee plant operates at full-capacity and has helped grow Clarksville’s economy. In addition, the plant has allowed Hankook to incorporate sustainable design and construction into its tire manufacturing by leveraging top-tier technology through its highly automated manufacturing process.
Lee will split his time between Hankook’s America headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, and global headquarters in Seoul, Korea. He will specifically focus on these three key themes at the American headquarters: competitiveness, innovation and results. Strategic initiatives will be put in place to enhance Hankook’s competitiveness in the tire industry. Additionally, Hankook will focus on and seek answers to “why” and “how” questions in order to provide innovation breakthroughs that will help garner a share of the market. And finally, the answers to these questions along with R&D will be used to help produce results. Lee begins his tenure in Nashville mid-January.