The Korea Herald


Three tycoons make Asia’s top executive list

By Cho Ji-hyun

Published : April 21, 2011 - 18:49

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Fortune’s list includes Lee of Samsung, Chung of Hyundai Motor and Koo of LG

Three Korean top business leaders ― Lee Kun-hee, Chung Mong-koo and Koo Bon-moo ― were included in a U.S. magazine’s recently released list of Asia’s 25 most powerful business people.

Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, was ranked fourth while Chung, chief of Hyundai Motor, and Koo, chairman of LG Group, were placed 10th and 16th, respectively.

According to Fortune, it looked at the revenues, profits and growth of the region’s most dynamic companies, along with evaluating the firm’s top executives’ role played in the corporations’ successes. It also put a strong emphasis on globalization.

Its recent inaugural ranking of Asia’s most powerful business people reflected a major power shift in the region, it said.

“Chairman Lee transformed Samsung Electronics from a peddler of low-end gadgets to a global leader in cellphones, televisions and computer chips,” it said. “The $137-billion-a-year electronics company is most often compared with Hewlett-Packard, but in many ways Samsung is the Apple of South Korea in its home country for its design and innovation as well as its financial performance.”

Chung was placed No. 10 for his bold spending on quality initiatives and creative marketing in a period of industrial downturn, which paid off as Hyundai garnered a larger share in North America.

“This year the company made a splash with its groundbreaking three-door coupe, the Veloster,” it said. “Chung also opened new plants for passenger cars in Brazil and in St. Petersburg, Russia, and is building a third plant in China, expanding Hyundai’s market share in the world’s largest auto market. Driving the company to be the globe’s most fuel-efficient, Chung is also finding success where you wouldn’t expect it: Europe.”

As for Koo, the magazine said he has “added luster to the LG brand over the years.”

“LG’s overseas sales soared to over $90 billion last year, with revenue up 25 percent to $122.4 billion,” it said. “Koo has steadily built the group’s flagship LG Electronics into the world’s second-largest maker of televisions, behind Samsung and ahead of Sony.”

Some others in the top 10 list included: Akio Toyoda, CEO of Toyota Motor in Japan, Ratan Tata, chairman of Tata Sons, and Mukesh D. Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries, both from India, and Terry Gou, chairman and CEO of Foxconn Technology Group in Taiwan.

Four leaders ― Ren Zhengfei of Huawei Technologies, Gao Xiqing of China Investment Corp., Wang Xiaochu from China Telecom Corp. and Jiang Jiemin of PetroChina Co. ― in the top 10 list are from China.

In addition, the number of people who possess over 1 trillion won in stocks increased to 15 people as the KOSPI rose to a record level Wednesday, according to, an online website specializing in information concerning large businesses.

Lee of Samsung recorded first place with more than 8.93 trillion won, followed closely by Chung of Hyundai Motor with 8.4 trillion won.

Others in the group are ruling Grand National Party lawmaker Chung Mong-joon with 4.17 trillion won, Chung Eui-sun, Hyundai Motor’s vice chairman, with 2.24 trillion won, SK chairman Chey Tae-won with 2.11 trillion won and Lotte Group chairman Shin Dong-bin with 2.01 trillion won.

Cho Yang-rai, chairman of Hankook Tire, newly joined the group with the recent rise in stock prices.

By Cho Ji-hyun (

Fortune top 10 list Asia’s 25 most powerful business people

1. Akio Toyoda, 55, CEO of Toyota Motor, Japan

2. Ratan Tata, 73, chairman of Tata Sons, India

3. Mukesh D. Ambani, 53, chairman of Reliance Industries, India

4. Lee Kun-hee, 69, chairman of Samsung Electronics, Korea

5. Ren Zhengfei, 67, CEO of Huawei Technologies, China

6. Terry Gou, 60, chairman and CEO of Foxconn Technology Group, Taiwan

7. Gao Xiqing, 57, president and CIO of China Investment Corp., China

8. Wang Xiaochu, 53, chairman and CEO of China Telecom Corp., China

9. Jiang Jiemin, 55, chairman of PetroChina Co., China

10. Chung Mong-koo, 73, chairman and CEO of Hyundai Motor, Korea

...16. Koo Bon-moo, 66, chairman of LG Group, Korea