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 MILPITAS, Calif., Oct. 25 /PRNewswire/ -- Komag Inc. (NASDAQ: KMAG), a leading supplier of thin-film components for high-performance Winchester disk drives announced the promotion of five employees. Ven Kao and T.H. Tan were appointed corporate vice presidents, while Ron Allen, Rick Austin and Tom Yamashita were promoted to the newly created position of senior director.
 "As we complete our tenth year of operations and move rapidly toward shipment of our 100 millionth disk, it is very clear that Komag has changed in many ways. Our operations are worldwide, our products are varied and operations within our company have become larger and more complex. I am pleased to announce a number of promotions which support these changes in our organization," said Stephen C. Johnson, president and chief executive officer at Komag Inc.
 Kao, 55, was promoted to vice president for Milpitas manufacturing. "Ven has played a significant role over the last ten years in helping Komag become the world's largest thin-film disk manufacturer," commented Johnson. "As one of the company's first employees, Ven has participated in and led many of our manufacturing improvement programs. These programs have been critical to our successful expansion," Johnson said. In his current position, Kao is responsible for six of the company's 11 thin-film disk production lines. Kao joined Komag in November 1983 as a manager of operations and was promoted to director of manufacturing in April 1988.
 Tan, 45, was appointed vice president for Penang manufacturing. "T.H. joined Komag in October 1989 and did an excellent job in bringing up our largest U.S. disk plant from ground zero to a 24-hour-a-day, seven-day-a-week, highly productive operation. Over the last 18 months, he has served as managing director of Komag USA (Malaysia) Sdn., our new disk operation in Penang. T.H. has used his knowledge of Komag's sophisticated manufacturing processes and his understanding of the culture of his native country, Malaysia, to establish a disk manufacturing operation which can compete with anyone in the world in terms of quality and cost," Johnson said.
 Allen, 45, was promoted to the position of senior director of Automation Engineering. "Our thin-film disk production requires advanced material science expertise and precise manufacturing techniques performed in clean room environments. The level of advanced automation technology in Komag's manufacturing processes has been one of the most important factors that has allowed Komag to increase manufacturing yields and reduce costs," said Johnson. "Since joining Komag as its fifth employee in October 1983, Ron has made a number of significant contributions in the areas of automation, construction, and equipment engineering. Komag's success in the U.S., Japan and now in Malaysia is in part directly attributable to the work of Ron and his department," said Johnson. Allen holds seven Komag patents and has written numerous technical articles on thin-film and magneto-optic media.
 Austin, 38, was promoted to the position of senior director of Facilities. "Since Rick joined Komag in late 1988, our worldwide facilities have more than doubled. Our consolidated operations now total approximately 870,000 square feet of manufacturing and administrative space in California and Malaysia. Under his direction, Komag has completed construction of a 103,000 square-foot disk plant in San Jose, Calif. and a 220,000 square-foot media facility in Penang. These facilities contain some of the industry's most advanced clean room and waste treatment operations. Rick has also provided valuable assistance to our joint venture subsidiaries, AKCL, KMT and Dastek, in their substantial renovation and expansion efforts," said Johnson.
 Yamashita, 39, was promoted to the position of senior director of Research. "Komag's leadership position in the disk industry has been built on our ability to apply our expertise in metallurgy, chemistry and magnetics to achieve storage capacities unobtainable with traditional iron-oxide coated or plated thin-film disks. Tom's engineering leadership has played a key part in advancing Komag's sputtered thin- film disk technology. During the last four years, he has been responsible for research on magnetics and tribology of thin-film magnetic media and for development of manufacturing processes. In his new position, he will direct all of the media research activities at Komag," Johnson said. Yamashita joined Komag in March 1984 as a material scientist and was promoted to director in November 1989. He holds, as an inventor or co-inventor, six Komag patents and has written or co-authored 30 conference and journal publications.
 Komag is the only independent volume supplier of both thin-film disks and thin-film heads, two performance-enabling components used in today's advanced Winchester disk drives. Winchester disk drives are the primary storage devices used by computers. Founded in 1983, Komag and its consolidated subsidiaries employ approximately 3,700 people. Komag also manufactures and sells thin-film disk products through an unconsolidated subsidiary, Asahi Komag Co. Ltd., which is among the top three media producers in Japan.
 -0- 10/22/93
 /CONTACT: David H. Allen or T. Hunt Payne or William L. Potts Jr. of Komag, 408-946-2300/

CO: Komag Inc. ST: California IN: CPR SU: PER

RB-SG -- SJ001 -- 6146 10/25/93 09:02 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 25, 1993

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