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KT nominates ex-Samsung president for new CEO

KT nominates ex-Samsung president for new CEO

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Published : 2013-12-16 19:46
Updated : 2013-12-16 19:46

KT Corp., South Korea's No. 2 mobile operator, said Monday it nominated a former Samsung president to be its new chief, who will take office by early next year pending shareholder approval.

KT said its six outside directors and one inside director recommended Hwang Chang gyu to lead the telecom giant for a three-year tenure.

The nomination of Hwang as the chief executive officer of KT awaits approval at a shareholders meeting early next year, it said.

Hwang served as the president of the memory business division of Samsung Electronics Co. from 2001 to 2004. Hwang now teaches at Sungkyunkwan University in Seoul. 

KT's top post has been vacant since Nov. 12 when its chief, Lee Suk-chae, resigned, reportedly under political pressure. Lee assumed the post in 2009 and his second term was to end in May 2015.

Lee's decision to step down came as prosecutors launched an investigation into his alleged managerial wrongdoings. His immediate predecessor, Nam Joong-soo, also quit the post ahead of his tenure amid reports of political pressure.

Founded as a public corporation, KT became a private entity in 2002. It has a well distributed shareholder structure under which the state-run National Pension Service (NPS), the country's largest institutional investor, holds the largest share with 8.65 percent, though it has no managerial rights over the company.

Foreign shareholders own a combined 43.9 percent in KT, and other major shareholders include NTT DoCoMo of Japan, which holds a 5.46 percent stake, and Mirae Asset Global Investments Co., which has 4.99 percent. Under the current shareholder structure, there is no controlling shareholder.

KT's business performance remained weak in the third quarter of the year on a fall in the number of subscribers, with its net profit sinking 63 percent on-year to 136 billion won (US$127 million).

Sales fell 7.3 percent on-year to 5.73 trillion won over the cited period.

KT, the last among the country's top three mobile carriers to introduce the fourth generation service, has been ramping up efforts to catch up to its major rivals SK Telecom Co. and LG Uplus. (Yonhap News)

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