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Honda, Smallwood, Thomas among Falken promotions

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Hideo Honda, formerly president and chief operating officer for Falken Tire Corp. (FTC), has been promoted to CEO. He will be replaced by Richard Smallwood, formerly the company's vice president of sales and marketing.

Darren Thomas, formerly executive director of marketing, is the new vice president of sales and marketing.

In his new role, Honda will oversee FTC's continued expansion into the North American market. He joined the company in January 1999 after holding several key management positions at both Ohtsu Tire and Rubber Co. and Sumitomo Rubber Industries.

As president and COO, Smallwood will focus his duties on the expansion of FTC's distribution network in North America and the management of daily corporate activities. He joined Falken in January 2000.

Thomas' efforts will be directed at the continued development of the Falken brand and management of sales activities in North America. He joined FTC in September 2001.

FTC also promoted two account managers.

* Rick McConnell, formerly senior account manager for the Western Region, has been named Western Region sales manager. He has been with the company for 20 years.

* Matt Leeper, formerly account manager for the Eastern Region, was named Eastern Region sales manager. He joined the company in 1998.

All the promotions were effective Jan. 1, 2006.

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