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U.S. Highland Names Long Operating Chief After Officers Killed Plane Crash

U.S. Highland Inc., the maker of Motocross performance motorcycles, named parent company AB Highland Group’s Director of Asia Operations Darin Long as chief operating officer among moves to replace three executives who died in a plane crash July 10.

Martin Lind was appointed vice president of operations, and Michael La Lond became interim finance chief, U.S. Highland said yesterday in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The men will replace President Mats Malmberg, 41; Chief Operating Officer Chase Bales, 51; and Chief Financial Officer Damian Riddoch, 37, who died when their twin-engine Cessna smashed into a wooded area in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Long and Christer Wagenius were named to the company’s board by Chairman Bengt Andersson, who was the sole remaining director after the crash, U.S. Highland said.

La Lond, 60, is a director at Southbridge Advisory Group, a Tulsa consulting firm, and Lind, 36, was Mounds, Oklahoma-based U.S. Highland’s research and development director. Wagenius, 69, is a partner at a Swedish law firm. Long, 44, also has been a director of Millennial Research Corp. since 2008.

U.S. Highland will issue a statement on the leadership changes today, Long, who is serving as the company’s spokesman, said in a telephone interview.

A report on the cause of the crash may be available late next week, Keith Holloway, a National Transportation Safety Board spokesman, has said.

The men were returning from Detroit when an emergency landing at Tulsa’s airport was requested. Bales, who shared ownership of the plane, was in the pilot’s seat during the crash and routinely flew on business trips, Long said July 13.

The executives had been with U.S. Highland, which employs 35 people, since it was created in March 2009. Malmberg founded the parent company 14 years earlier in his native Sweden.

U.S. Highland was unchanged at $1.25 as of 10:52 a.m. in over-the-counter trading.

To contact the reporter on this story: Theo Keith in Southfield, Michigan at tkeith6@bloomberg.net.

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