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Scandal-marred nuke operator hires external staff for reform

Scandal-marred nuke operator hires external staff for reform

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Published : 2013-12-19 19:47
Updated : 2013-12-19 19:47

CEO Cho Seok

The state-run Korea Hydro & Nuclear Power Corp., the nation’s nuclear power plant operator, said Thursday that it had implemented the most drastic personnel reshuffle in its 12-year history, filling five executive posts with figures from outside the company.

“The top priority of the personnel reform was to break deep-rooted ‘pure-bloodism’ in the organization, a root-cause of serial scandals involving KHNP and its nuclear power plants,” CEO Cho Seok said.

With the hiring of five new executives out of company, about 35 percent of 31 total executives at KHNP came from the outside.

“The company has a plan to raise the proportion of external talents to total executives to 50 percent next year,” Cho said.

The change in staffing policy is part of three-prongs ― human resources, organization, and culture ― of a reform drive that KHNP CEO Cho announced Wednesday. Cho, an ex-vice energy minister who was appointed to the post in September, developed the plan to regain public trust in KHNP. Corruption-tainted KHNP has been a target of public criticism throughout the year.

The executives coming from outside include Son Byeong-bok, a former executive vice president of Samsung Engineering. He will be responsible for operating the Wolseong nuclear power plant complex as an executive vice president at KHNP.

Son is the second executive hired from the private sector to manage the operation of a nuclear power plant. Last year, KHNP recruited Han Jung-tak, a former executive of Daelim Industrial. Han currently leads the operation of Hanul (formerly Uljin) nuclear power plant complex.

“Half of the four nuclear power plant complexes nationwide will be run by people who have no connection with KHNP from next year,” a company official said.

To strengthen communication with stakeholders at home and abroad, Cho also hired Park Chan-hee, the head of public affairs at Starbucks Korea, as a spokesperson.

Besides personnel reform, KHNP implemented engineering-driven organizational reform as well, strengthening the evaluation capabilities of the unit responsible for acquiring parts.

“We will make all-out efforts to eradicate all types of corruptions and to raise the safety of nuclear power plants with these reform measures. 2014 will be a turning point for KHNP as a corruption-free year,” Cho said.

By Seo Jee-yeon (jyseo@heraldcorp.com)

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