Hana Financial chief tightens direct control

By Korea Herald
  • Published : Mar 3, 2014 - 20:29
  • Updated : Mar 3, 2014 - 20:29
Hana Financial Group chairman Kim Jung-tai has decided to downsize the group’s organization and seize direct control over affiliated subsidiaries.

On Monday, the group announced that it would scrap the CEO post for its holding company and would not replace current CEO Choe Heung-sik, whose term expires at the end of March.

Instead, group chairman Kim will gain direct control over the holding company, officials said.

Further, the group’s total number of executive members will be reduced from 12 to nine, as the strategy and public relations divisions are to be taken over by the financial and the human relations divisions, respectively.

The number of employees will also be reduced by 25 percent or so to slim down the entire organization and cut down on costs, the group said.

“This was a measure to actively respond to a prolonged period of slow growth and low profit,” said a group official.

“Also, the chairman’s direct control over the holding company is expected to boost the efficiency of communication and decision-making.”

Kim, who has served in his post for almost two years, is ready to be involved more directly in the group’s internal business and make further changes before his term ends in March next year, the official added.

By eliminating the CEO post of the holding company, Hana largely followed suit of other major financial companies, such as KB, Shinhan and Woori, all of which have a centralized chairmanship, minus the affiliated CEO.

But some observers said that the Hana chairman’s actions may be an effort to eliminate the legacy of his predecessor Kim Seung-yu, citing the fact that the group did not reappoint Yun Yong-ro as CEO of Korea Exchange Bank, Hana’s banking affiliate.

On Sunday, the group tapped KEB Capital CEO Kim Han-jo as the new KEB chief.

By Bae Hyun-jung (