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LG Electronics names home appliances head as CEO

LG Group chairman’s younger brother gets bigger role, keeps son’s position unchanged

LG Electronics on Thursday named Jo Seong-jin, the head of its home appliances division, as its new CEO, putting the tech giant’s operation under a one-man leadership system for speedy decision making amid fierce market competition.

The South Korean electronics manufacturer had been led by three executives since its former CEO and Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon’s departure to LG Corp., the holding company of LG Group last year.

The board’s decision grants Jo full leadership of LG Electronics’ overall operations ranging from smartphones and home appliances to automotive businesses.

Jo is the first high-school graduate to take the vice chairman post.

Jo Seong-jin, CEO and vice chairman of LG Electronics (LGE)
Jo Seong-jin, CEO and vice chairman of LG Electronics (LGE)

Since joining LG Electronics in 1976, Jo has built his career as a renowned engineer for the development of washing machines. He became the head of LG’s home appliance division early last year and has contributed to raising LG’s profile in the home appliances market by leading the successful launch of its high-end brand Signature.

Song Dae-hyun, executive vice president and CEO of LG Electronics’ Russian operation, will replace Jo’s position as the head of the home appliances division, the company said.

In a minor structural change, LG Electronics will establish a new kitchen appliance and living appliances office under the home appliance division. The company will also launch a committee to better control the brand value of LG Signature. Jo will head the new committee

Meanwhile, LG Corp. said it has decided to give a bigger role to its Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon, the younger brother of LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo, to seek the group’s new engine growth businesses. The younger Koo will spearhead a strategic council to put LG’s major businesses on track and expand investments to the group’s new businesses. 

LG Corp. Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon (LG Group)
LG Corp. Vice Chairman Koo Bon-joon (LG Group)

His management experience at LG’s major affiliates including LG Electronics, LG Display and LG International, a trading firm, would help the group seek new growth engines and tackle deteriorating market conditions due to the slowing economy and growing uncertainty over other external factors, officials said. Koo will keep his board membership at LG Chem and LG Electronics, they added.

The holding company, however, kept the position of Koo Gwang-mo, the group chairman’s son unchanged, contrary to what had been expected due to earlier reports that he would be promoted to a senior vice president position.

By Cho Chung-un (

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