The number of executives at South Korea's major firms expanded 4.5 percent on-year in the first quarter of the year despite the coronavirus pandemic, a corporate tracker said Tuesday.
A total of 353 leading companies in Asia's fourth-largest economy had a combined 14,418 executives as of end-March this year, up from 13,803 a year earlier, according to the Leaders Index.
The figure covers companies out of the country's top 500 corporations by sales that have disclosed their first-quarter business reports so far.
The Leaders Index attributed the increase to major companies' record earnings in the January-March period in spite of the prolonged COVID-19 crisis.
Out of the total, 188 firms raised the number of executives and 84 cut their C-suite seats, with 81 reporting no changes.
The number of female executives rose 19 percent on-year to 914, or 4.3 percent of the total, with that of male directors edging up 3.8 percent to 13,504.
The sharp gain in female executives came ahead of the implementation in August of a new capital market law that puts restrictions on male-dominated boards.
Home appliance giant LG Electronics Inc. posted the biggest on-year increase of 39, followed by chip giant SK hynix Inc. with 37, global tech titan Samsung Electronics Co. with 28 and display behemoth LG Display Co. with 22. (Yonhap)