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New LG chairman gets right to business

Koo Kwang-mo, the new CEO and chairman of LG Corp., on Monday started off his first day as the chief of the fourth largest conglomerate in South Korea, focusing on major issues across the group’s affiliates.

The 40-year-old group head skipped an inauguration ceremony and started figuring out major issues of the group in a new office room on the 30th floor of the east building of LG Twin Tower in Yeouido, western Seoul.

“While inheriting and developing my predecessor’s management direction based on LG Way, I will seek changes in the necessary areas in order to lead the market and allow LG to last long,” Koo said in an internal letter to employees and executives of LG Corp. 

“He has received briefings on the issues of each affiliate by top officials since early in the morning, and is expected to spend quite some time figuring out measures to seek growth for each business unit,” said an industry official who declined to be named. 

LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo (LG Corp.)
LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo (LG Corp.)

The new chairman is unlikely to make public appearances -- at least until he sets the concrete direction of his leadership toward growth, according to the official.

Koo will be supported by six vice chairmen of LG Corp., LG Electronics, LG Chem, LG Display and LG Household & Heath Care on grasping current issues at each affiliate.

“Expectations about new growth measures for the vehicle component, robot and artificial intelligence businesses are high under the new, young leadership,” said an official at LG Electronics.

The new chairman, who is about 20 years younger than the average age of the top brass handling the affiliates, may choose a large-scale reshuffle and organizational restructuring in the coming months to usher in the younger generation, some industry watchers said.

Koo remains the third-largest shareholder of LG Corp. with a 6.24 percent stake in the holding company. He is expected to inherit an 11.28 percent stake owned by the late Chairman Koo Bon-moo. The total cost of the inheritance tax is estimated to reach 1 trillion won.

Under the holding company system, LG Corp. is a control tower for major LG affiliates, owning a 33.7 percent stake in LG Electronics, 33.3 percent in LG Chem, 34 percent in LG Household & Health Care and 36.1 percent in LG Uplus.

By Song Su-hyun (
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Korea Herald daum