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Toyo Announces Reorganization Plan

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Toyo Announces Reorganization Plan

Toyo Tire & Rubber Co. Ltd. has announced a number of new executive appointments, including a new chairman of the board from outside the company. The appointments, although not official, are expected to be approved at the Extraordinary Meeting of Shareholders on Nov. 12, 2015.

* Katsumi Komaguchi, who will join the company in mid-October, is a candidate for chairman and director. Most recently, he was representative director and vice chairman of Kyocera Document Solutions Corp., and director and senior managing executive officer of the parent Kyocera Corp.

Under Komaguchi's leadership, Kyocera Document Solutions increased its earnings every year after the 2008 global recession when much of the copier industry was in an unavoidable slump. He helped establish the foundation for Kyocera’s global growth in the information solutions business; the company eventually reached 330 billion yen in sales, with pre-tax profit margins of more than 10%.

Prior to joining Kyocera in 1986, Mr. Komaguchi worked for a heavy electrical equipment manufacturer.

"Mr. Komaguchi will bring his knowledge of business and his passion for management to Toyo Tire, where he will be asked to focus on changing the company’s culture," says Toyo.

* Takashi Shimizu, Toyo's senior corporate officer, is a candidate for president and representative director. He is scheduled to replace Takuji Yamamoto. Shimizu began his 30-year career at Toyo Tire in 1985, initially in the Finance Department, and later in the Tire Business Group.

In addition to his duties as senior corporate officer, Shimizu also is general manager of the Tire Planning Division and North America Business Unit, and compliance officer for the Tire Business Group Headquarters.

In his current role as general manager of the Tire Planning Division, Shimizu oversees the company’s global tire business operations. He has been instrumental in managing the Company’s tire business, including strategic planning, overseas business operations, production planning and logistics. He has instituted reform at various regional business operations, including Europe.

Shimizu was previously president of Toyo Tire Holdings of Americas Inc., which is a major contributor to the company’s financial results. In this role, he restructured management of the U.S. sales subsidiary; instituted a holding company structure; created a holding company; supervised coordination between the manufacturing plant and sales companies; consolidated the group’s finances; and oversaw its profitability.

Shimizu began his Toyo career in the finance department, with early stints at the company’s U.S. joint venture company and the German sales subsidiary.

Voting on four director candidates also on the agenda at the shareholders meeting. Barring extraordinary circumstances, the new directors will be:

1. Koichi Ono, senior corporate officer.

2. Masaji Ishino, senior corporate officer.

3. Tetsuo Tatara, corporate officer.

4. Ken Morita, former senior managing director of Panasonic Corp.

Two directors are planning to resign from the board. Sadao Ichihara will remain a senior corporate officer. Takuji Yamamoto, president and representative director, will become a special advisor to the general manager of the Seismic Isolation Rubber Division, effective Nov. 12.

On June 23, 2015, Toyo announced it would be replacing the existing management to take responsibility for the seismic rubber product matter. The company says its priority is to resolve the resulting issues as soon as possible. "Additionally, there are demands for a thorough transformation of the corporate culture and continued business growth.

"The board of directors selected the proposed new management team based on the qualifications that were deemed necessary to lead the company in fulfilling these objectives."

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