The Korea Herald


Hanwha promotes young CEOs in major reshuffle

By Cho Chung-un

Published : Sept. 23, 2019 - 17:40

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Hanwha Group replaced the heads of its seven subsidiaries on Monday with younger chiefs, signaling a generational shift in the energy-to-chemical empire with 65 trillion won ($54.4 billion) in assets.

Introducing the seven new CEOs as leaders for the group’s future growth -- whose expertise and performance are proven -- the nation’s eighth-largest conglomerate said the decision was made to better deal with growing external uncertainties.

Kim Youn-chul, who simultaneously led Hanwha’s three affiliates -- Hanwha Precision Machinery, Hanwha Techwin and Hanwha Corp.’s machinery unit -- was named CEO of Hanwha Systems, the defense and aviation unit that is gearing up for its market debut this year.

Kim Youn-chul, CEO of Hanwha Systems Kim Youn-chul, CEO of Hanwha Systems

Replacing Kim’s three CEO positions, Ok Kyeong-seak, head of Hanwha Explosive and Defense, will also serve as CEO of Hanwha Corp.’s machinery unit, while promoting Lee Ki-nam, executive vice president of Precision Machinery, and Ahn Soon-hong, head of Hanwha Techwin’s sales and marketing, as CEOs of the respective companies.

As for Hanwha Chemical, the group named Lee Koo-yung, vice president of the company, as the new CEO, while assigning Ryoo Doo-hyoung, CEO of Hanwha Energy, as new CEO of Advanced Materials.

Lee Koo-yung, CEO of Hanhwa Chemical Lee Koo-yung, CEO of Hanhwa Chemical

Hanwha Energy Vice President Jung In-sub has replaced Ryoo, the company said.

The nomination of the seven CEOs is subject to approval by shareholders and the board of directors.

The reshuffle was carried out a month after a decision to merge Hanwha Chemical with its wholly owned subsidiary Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials. The CEO reshuffle has no relations to the plan, officials at the group said, adding that the CEO nominations have been carried out on their regular schedule.

The merger plan drew market interest in August, suggesting that it would boost the solar power business and also that the group may be laying the groundwork for a leadership transfer to the chairman’s son. Hanwha Q Cells & Advanced Materials is a global manufacturer of solar power modules and automotive lightweight materials. It has been led by Executive Vice President Kim Dong-kwan, Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn’s eldest son.

By Cho Chung-un (