Announces New Management Assignments to Advance Key
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.
"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
"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
"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.
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
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.