Daewoong Pharmaceutical chairman steps down after verbal abuse revelations

By Sohn Ji-young
  • Published : Aug 27, 2018 - 14:50
  • Updated : Aug 27, 2018 - 15:54

Daewoong Pharmaceutical Chairman Yoon Jae-seung stepped down from his post Monday, following recent accusations that he had repeatedly abused employees with verbal threats and profanities during meetings.

It marked yet another case of “gapjil” -- a Korean term referring to the abuse of power against a person in a lower-level position -- involving the controlling family of a major South Korean corporation. Daewoong Pharmaceutical is one of the country’s biggest pharmaceutical companies that is family-owned.

Yoon released a statement to the press Monday pledging to immediately remove himself from all executive posts, and apologizing for his irresponsible actions. 

Daewoong Pharmaceutical Chairman Yoon Jae-seung (Yonhap)

“Due to my imprudent remarks made during company meetings and reporting sessions, I have hurt not only the victims but all the employees in attendance. I apologize deeply and will step down from all executive roles to reflect on my behavior,” said Yoon.

Daewoong Pharmaceutical will operate under the leadership of co-CEOs Jeon Seng-ho and Yoon Jae-chun, the company said.

Yoon Jae-seung’s resignation came a day after Korean news channel YTN revealed audio clips of the chairman shouting profanities and yelling at employees during company meetings.

Yoon is the third son of Daewoong Pharmaceutical’s founder Yoon Young-hwan and a former prosecutor. He joined Daewoong in 1995 and was promoted to vice president the following year. In March this year, he resigned as the CEO of Daewoong Pharmaceutical to make way for professional leadership.

Yoon is currently listed as the chairman of Daewoong Pharmaceutical’s board as well as the CEO of the firm’s holding company Daewoong. He is expected to step down from both positions following Monday’s announcement.

By Sohn Ji-young (