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효성 중공업 대대적인 감사 실시

효성그룹이 담합과 입찰 비리로 얼룩진 중공업 부문 (PG)에 대한 대대적인 감사를 벌이고 있다. 

효성그룹 이상운 부회장은 지난 10월에 열린 임원 회의에서 납품과 입찰 비리 등 대해 감사를 실시하라고 지시했으며, 필요에 따라 부서 통합과 인원감축도 불사하라고 말한 것으로 알려졌다.

이에 따라 11월 말부터 직급에 상관없이 개별 직원에 대한 감사가 강화되었으며 중공업 PG의 핵심 파트인 해외영업으로까지 대상이 확대되었다고 관계자들은 밝혔다.

한 관계자는 “감사 후 자연스럽게 구조조정으로 이어지지 않겠느냐”고 전하며, 지난 1개월간 많게는 5번까지 감사를 받은 직원도 있다고 말했다.

효성그룹측은 현재 감사를 실시하고 있지만 구조조정 계획은 구체화된 바가 없다고 밝혔다. 또, 감사가 조석래회장의 장남이자 그룹의 핵심인 섬유와 정보통신 사업을 이끌고 있는 조현준 사장에게 중공업을 맡기기 위한 물밑작업이 아니냐는 일각의 주장에 대해서도 사실이 아니라고 일축했다.

업계에서는 중공업 PG를 맡아온 조현문 전 부사장이 지난해 2월 ‘형제의 난’으로 물러난 뒤 조현준 사장이 중공업 PG를 실질적으로 경영 해오면서 그가 곧 중공업 PG 사장을 맡게 될 것이라고 예측하고 있다.

코리아헤럴드 석지현기자(monicasuk@heraldcorp.com)

<관련 영문 기사>

Hyosung Power & Industrial Systems undergoing audit

Hyosung Power & Industrial Systems Performance Group is undergoing a major audit in the aftermath of a series of corruption including collusion, sources familiar with the matter said Wednesday.

It was recently discovered that Hyosung, along with a handful of other local manufacturers, had colluded on the prices of parts they have been to Korea Hydro and Nuclear Power Corp. for up to eight years.

Hyosung Group said the audit was launched on orders from its vice chairman Lee Sang-woon to get the firm back in shape.

Other sources believe the audit may lead to major layoffs, as Lee reportedly told executives to streamline the business by combining the manufacturer’s noncore businesses and downside the workforce.

“Internal inspections are usually conducted to find excuses for layoffs. Some employees have been called in as many as five times for audits since November,” one source told The Korea Herald.

There is also speculation that the audit may be a part of the group’s moves to remove the remaining right-hand men of former Hyosung PNI president Cho Hyun-moon, who stepped down in February 2013 over a succession battle. His older brother Hyun-joon is widely expected to be the next head of the heavy equipment manufacturer.

Hyunjoon may also be seeking to place more aides in key posts before taking charge, according to industry sources.

Hyosung Group, however, denied such implications, saying that the audit was only aimed at eliminating corruption.

Regarding reports that Hyun-joon, currently headling the group‘s information communication and textiles units, laid off more than a dozen aides to his estranged younger brother, those close to the matter said these aides have already been replaced.

Last month, Hyosung announced that it would focus on carbon fiber and polyketone businesses as new growth engines. The company plans to invest about 1 trillion won ($914 million) into the project to achieve 10 trillion won in exports by 2020.

By Suk Gee-hyun (monicasuk@heraldcorp.com)
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