Michael Sprague Promoted to Kia Motors America COO
In case you haven’t heard, Kia’s top US executive, Byung Mo Ahn, has stepped down amid a big change-up for the Korean automaker.
Mo Ahn, 64, has vacated his position as CEO and group vice chairman of Kia Motors America and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia. The company’s new CEO will be Jang Won Sohn, while Sales and Marketing VP Michael Sprague, 49, will be promoted to the newly created position of COO.
Kia released this official statement regarding the organizational changes:
Effective immediately, the Group Vice Chairman and CEO of Kia Motors America (KMA) and Kia Motors Manufacturing Georgia (KMMG), Byung Mo Ahn, has left these positions and will become a company advisor. Jang Won Sohn, formerly a Senior Vice President at KMC, assumes the position of President and CEO of KMA, and Hyun Jong Shin, formerly KMMG’s Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, assumes the position of President and CEO of KMMG.
Michael Sprague, formerly KMA’s Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing, has been appointed to the newly created position of Chief Operating Officer and EVP of KMA, reporting directly to Mr. Sohn, and will serve as the central point of contact for all sales, marketing, service and product planning functions.
Sprague has been the de facto “face” of the company for a while now, appearing at auto show premieres for new Kia vehicles and enthusiastically promoting the brand in the press. We wish him luck in his newest endeavor.