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Company News

 

Komag Announces New Management Assignments to Advance Key
Corporate Initiatives

 

San Jose, California (October 1, 1998) -  Komag, Incorporated (Nasdaq: KMAG), the world's largest independent supplier of thin-film media for computer hard disk drives, today announced several new management assignments to support key cost reduction initiatives and new product/process development programs. Rick Austin has expanded his role and will now serve as Vice President-Worldwide Substrate Manufacturing and Support Services; Tim Gallagher has been promoted to Vice President-Product Development; Thiam Seng Tan has been promoted to Vice President-Asian Operations; and Eric Tu has rejoined the company as Vice President-U.S. Operations.

"Despite a difficult first half of 1998 at Komag, I am encouraged by the progress we have recently made in a number of our key corporate initiatives. Over the last few months we have realigned our management assignments to support our efforts to reduce material input costs, increase manufacturing yields, align labor expenses to match our near-term opportunities, and bring new industry-leading disk products into high volume production. Customer feedback on our new disk products, including production of the industry's first 3 1/2-inch giant magnetoresistive (GMR) disk, has been very favorable. I am confident that through hard work and strong leadership from this team we will emerge from the current industry downturn in a stronger competitive position," said Stephen C. Johnson, President and Chief Executive Officer of Komag, Incorporated.

Rick Austin:

"Cost reduction and quality are two essential components to success in today's competitive disk drive industry. Under the new management structure announced today, Rick oversees our substrate operations in Santa Rosa, California and our front-end operations in Sarawak, Malaysia. In his expanded role, Rick also leads our efforts to streamline and reduce our manufacturing support costs and reports to T.H. Tan, our Senior Vice President-Worldwide Manufacturing," said Johnson.

Austin joined the company in 1988 as Facilities and Equipment Maintenance Manager and was appointed Vice President-Manufacturing and Corporate Facilities in 1997. Prior to joining Komag, he worked at VLSI Technology, Inc., National Semiconductor and Rockwell International.

Tim Gallagher:

"Bringing industry-leading products to market in a timely and cost-effective manner are essential to Komag's success. In his new role, Tim is responsible for new product development. Tim and his engineering staff are working closely with Komag's customers and our manufacturing organization to ensure our joint success with new product introductions. Tim reports to Dr. Chris Bajorek, our Senior Vice President and Chief Technical Officer," said Johnson.

Gallagher rejoined the company in 1996 as Director of Advanced Product Integration. Prior to rejoining Komag, Gallagher served as Senior Director for Product Development for Seagate Technology, Inc.'s media operations. Before joining Seagate, Gallagher worked for Komag in 1994 as an engineer in the company's R&D organization and for 14 years at IBM, most recently as a senior technical staff member in the MR head development area.

Thiam Seng Tan:

"As Komag's Vice President-Asian Operations, Thiam Seng oversees Komag's manufacturing facilities in Penang, Malaysia. We expect these operations to play a larger role in Komag's future success. Historically, new products were launched in the USA, then transferred to Penang. Launching products from our two plants in Penang is particularly important as our Malaysian facilities have the potential to be more cost-effective than similar facilities in Japan, Singapore, or the USA where our competitors operate," said T.H. Tan.

Tan joined Komag in December 1993 after a 14 year career with Hewlett-Packard (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd. He succeeded T.H. Tan as Managing Director of Komag's Penang operations in July 1996. Last year, Tan led a 1,600 person, 100% Malaysian work force that produced 30 million disks at Komag's two Penang plants, nearly 50% of the company's global disk production.

Eric Tu:

"We are pleased to have Eric rejoin Komag as Vice President-U.S. Operations. In this capacity, Eric directs our sputter through test manufacturing operations in San Jose, California. Working closely with our R&D staff, Eric's organization is focused on accelerating the learning cycle on new product introductions and timely volume ramps for new processes and new products," said Johnson.

Tu rejoined the company in 1998 and previously worked for Komag from 1988 to 1993. Prior to rejoining Komag, Tu held senior manufacturing positions with Kobe Precision, Inc., a manufacturer of aluminum substrates and Fuji Electric (Malaysia) Sdn. Bhd., a computer hard disk maker in Malaysia.

Forward-Looking Statements:

The above business outlook contains predictions, estimates and other forward-looking statements that involve a number of risks and uncertainties. While this outlook represents Komag's current judgment on the future direction of the business, actual results may differ materially from any future performance suggested above. Factors that could cause actual results to differ include the following: availability of sufficient cash resources; changes in the industry supply-demand relationship and related pricing for enterprise and desktop disk products; timely and successful product qualification of next-generation products; timely and successful deployment of new process technologies into manufacturing; utilization of manufacturing facilities; changes in manufacturing efficiencies, in particular product yields and material input costs; extensibility of process equipment to meet more stringent future product requirements; vertical integration and consolidation within the company's limited customer base; increased competition; structural changes within the disk media industry such as combinations, failures, and joint venture arrangements; availability of certain sole-sourced raw material supplies; and the risk factors listed in the company's various SEC filings, including its Form 10-K for the year ended December 28, 1997. The company undertakes no obligation to publicly release the result of any revisions to these forward-looking statements that may be made to reflect events or circumstances after the date hereof or to reflect the occurrence of unanticipated events.

About Komag:

Founded in 1983, Komag, Incorporated has produced over 350 million thin-film disks, the primary storage medium for digital data used in computer disk drives. The company is well-positioned as the broad-based strategic supplier of choice for the industry's leading disk drive manufacturers. Through its highly automated factories in the United States, Japan and Southeast Asia, Komag provides high quality, leading-edge disk products at a low overall cost of ownership. These attributes enable Komag to partner with customers in the execution of their time-to-market design and time-to-volume manufacturing strategies.

 

Komag Contact
San Jose, CA
David H. Allen
(408) 576-2000
ir_web@komag.com 

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