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Park Yong-maan retires from his last remaining role at Doosan

Park’s two sons to resign as well to focus on own business

Park Yong-maan is stepping down from his last remaining post at Doosan Group, bringing official closure to an era for the country’s 15th largest conglomerate. 

According to Doosan, the 66-year-old tycoon has recently tendered his resignation as chairman of the group’s think tank, the Doosan Business Research Institute. It was his last remaining link to the conglomerate, which he ran as chief from 2012 until March 2016. 

His two sons who are incumbent executives at Doosan affiliates are also resigning to stand on their two feet, the group added. 

Doosan Business Research Institute Chairman Park Yong-maan (Doosan Group)
Doosan Business Research Institute Chairman Park Yong-maan (Doosan Group)

Stepping away from Doosan, the former chairman will focus on humanitarian activities such as relief work for underprivileged people through his philanthropic foundation, the group said. The tycoon is a devoted Catholic.

Park’s departure was largely expected, as he has publicly said he would do so once the sale of Doosan Infracore was complete. 

While ceding the group chairmanship to his nephew Park Jeong-won in 2016, he had continued to run the struggling construction equipment arm until recently. Doosan Infracore was acquired in August by Hyundai Heavy Industries and Park left the chairman’s office at the firm.

Park also served as chairman of the country’s major business body, the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, for seven years starting in 2013. He handed over the role to SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won in February.

Born in 1955, Park is the fifth son among seven children of Doosan Group’s first Chairman Park Doo-byung, who inherited the business from his father and Doosan founder Park Seung-jik.

Maintaining the family tradition of exploring other business entities, Park Yong-maan worked at the Japanese firm Kirin Brewery after finishing his MBA at Boston University. But he returned to the family business in 1993.

As the oldest group in Korea, Doosan originally had a diversified business portfolio ranging from restaurants and breweries to the construction and defense sectors. But in early 2000, after being hit by the IMF crisis in 1997, the group turned to the business-to-business market with a focus on machinery and heavy industries, setting a foothold for Doosan to go abroad.

Known as a person with initiative, Park led sales of the group’s 24 businesses, such as the Korean operation of Nestle, 3M and Oriental Brewery and purchase of 18 companies, including what is now Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction. 

Later in his chairmanship, he also led Doosan in tapping into the fuel cell market and duty-free business after acquiring a license in 2014. Park also boosted the group’s turnaround in profits in 2016.

In March 2016, Park handed group control over to his nephew Park Jeong-won, upholding his family’s tradition. 

The group said Park’s two sons, Doosan advertising affiliate Oricom’s Vice President Park Seo-won and Doosan Heavy Industries and Construction Director Park Jae-won, will also resign from their positions.

Seo-won, who is also the CEO of Doosan Magazine, which runs the Korean publications of GQ, Vogue and Allure, will stretch his business and nurture related companies in the fashion and contents field, the group said. 

Park Yong-maan’s second son Jae-won will continue to work on his venture business. In 2019, he established the venture investment company D20 in Silicon Valley.

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