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Hyundai Moves PC Headquarters From Korea to California

April 20, 1992

SAN JOSE, Calif. (AP) _ The Hyundai Business Group of Korea today moved its personal computer headquarters to San Jose, a move its new U.S. president said would let the company be more competitive.

″The rapid pace of change and the limited life cycle of today’s PC technology requires a flat, nimble and streamlined organization to be competitive,″ said Edward Thomas, head of Hyundai Electronics Industries Co. Ltd.’s Information Systems Division that moved to San Jose from Seoul.

″Time to market and access to emerging technology are major competitive factors in today’s global PC market,″ he added.

Thomas, 53, is part of a U.S. team of executives that will run Hyundai’s personal computer operations from San Jose in the heart of Silicon Valley. Before joining Hyundai in 1992, Thomas was president and chief operating officer of CompuAdd Corp., an Austin, Texas-based PC maker and reseller. Previously, Thomas was a key manager for International Business Machines Corp.

The $38.5 billion Hyundai is more known for its automobile business, but the Korean company sells about $375 million a year in PCs and has about 2 percent of the U.S. market. Thomas said he hopes to double that soon.

The PC unit at Hyundai’s Baypoint Parkway facility in San Jose employs about 225 people, but Thomas said another 200 workers could be added.

Last year, Hyundai opened a work-station division in San Jose, employing 30 people to design a line of the desk-top machines that are more powerful than PCs and that are popular with engineers, scientists and businesses.

″We fully expect to have our next generation of truly differentiated desktop and notebook computers - designed, engineered and built from the group up in America - shipping to U.S. and world markets by the end of the year,″ Thomas said, nothing the company has 1,200 U.S. dealers already.

Hyundai and industry analysts said the plan to operate out of America makes sense because Korea-based companies are often out of the loop on new technologies and have to deal with a restrictive economy and with heavy competition from low-cost Taiwanese companies. Thomas said a U.S. base also would make it easier to forge technology pacts with other companies.

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