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Kolon Group chairman announces resignation

South Korean chemical-to-textile company Kolon Group said Wednesday that Chairman and CEO Lee Woong-yeol is resigning from his post. 

According to the group, the chairman announced that he would step down next year, after 23 years of overseeing the company’s management. 

Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeol (Kolon Group)
Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeol (Kolon Group)

The company said in a press release that the group will be operated without a chairman. Instead, the group’s major business plans will be handled by a holding company and presidents of its affiliates.

The group said there will be no separate resigning ceremony for Lee. 

In a letter sent to employees, Lee said that he would “return to being an ordinary entrepreneur.” He also mentioned his plan of opening a new business outside the company, based on the experience and knowledge he has gained at Kolon Group. 

He said he is leaving because he felt it was “now or never.”

“Thanks to my fortunate family background, I have lived a special life compared to other people, but at the same time, I feel grave responsibility. I was born with a golden spoon in my mouth and my teeth are all worn out now -- I’m putting all privileges and responsibilities down,” he said in a letter. 

Lee is the only son of Kolon Group founder Lee Won-man. Lee graduated from the business school of Korea University and also studied business at George Washington University. 

He joined the company in 1977 and was promoted to vice president in 1991. He became the chairman in 1996. 

Meanwhile, Lee’s son, Lee Kyu-ho, was promoted to the chief operating officer position of Kolon Group’s fashion unit Kolon Industry FnC. He will take charge of the group’s fashion business. 

By Kim Da-sol (