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Hyundai Motor heir takes steel unit post

Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun will take on a vice chairman post at Hyundai Steel.

Chung was appointed as vice chairman in charge of product quality at the non-automotive affiliate of Hyundai Motor on Friday.

The heir apparent of Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo has now four titles including Kia Motors president & CEO and Hyundai Mobis vice chairman.

“While Hyundai Steel vice chairman and CEO Park Seung-ha will still take the initiative in overall management of the company, vice chairman Chung will focus on improvement of product quality,” a group spokesman said.

He said Chung’s direct involvement in the company is designed to enhance responsible management.
Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun (Bloomberg)
Hyundai Motor vice chairman Chung Eui-sun (Bloomberg)

“This is the first time for a vice chairman to be designated as director in the non-automobile business sector,” the spokesman said.

His future course of action is drawing interest as the steel producer posted a deficit in net income in the third quarter of 2011.

Furthermore, Hyundai Steel has been projected to see its earnings fall compared to last year.

About three years ago, Hyundai Motor Group promoted Chung to vice chairman of Hyundai Motor, a move thought to be the first step to pave the way for him to succeed the chairmanship held by his father. He is the only son of the senior Chung.

Born in 1970, the junior Chung graduated from a local high school and went on to study management at Korea University before studying the same subject at master’s level at University of San Francisco.

He began his career in the family-run conglomerate as an ordinary employee at the subsidiary auto parts maker Hyundai Mobis in 1994. He quickly climbed the corporate ladder.

In 1999, he landed a job as a director of Hyundai Motor. From then on, Chung held executive-level posts at the automaker’s financial affiliates such as Hyundai Capital and Hyundai Card until he was named a vice president of Hyundai Motor in 2003.

The senior Chung, as chief of the group, has reiterated the necessity of enhancing internal stability amid unfavorable global market conditions.

Chung was quoted by a Hyundai executive as saying that “Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have posted great performances. The global automotive industry could be undermined. Hyundai and Kia cannot be an exception.”

The chairman said it was important for staff not to settle for current performances to cope with uncertainties.

By Kim Yon-se (kys@heraldcorp.com)
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