Kia has named Byung-Tae (Brandon) Yea president of Kia Motors Europe.

Yea spent his early career at parent Hyundai Motor and later Hyundai Motors America. He joined Kia in 1999 and has held a number of senior executive positions specialising in the development of marketing strategy and brand management.

In October 2010, Yea was appointed president of Kia in the Middle East and Africa region, based in Dubai, and has overseen significant growth in these markets over the past year, according to the automaker.

He succeeds Sun-Young Kim who is returning to Korea to take up a new position at the corporation’s headquarters.

Yea has been replaced as Kia’s Middle East and Africa president by Min Kun (MK) Kim, previously president and CEO of Kia Australia.

The new Australian chief is Chong Woo (Charlie) Kim who has worked in the country as a co-ordinating director since June 2009 after holding a similar role in Germany from 2002 to 2006, according to trade publication GoAuto News. Kim is also a former general manager for the Middle East and Africa region (2006-09).