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LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol named as next KITA chief

LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol. (KITA)
LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol. (KITA)
The Korea International Trade Association on Friday nominated LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol, 68, as its 31st chairman.

The leadership board of the trade organization, which represents over 70,000 member companies, met at the Trade Tower in Seoul’s eastern Samseong-dong and unanimously named Koo as the sole candidate for the post, officials said in a statement.

Koo is slated to take office for a three-year term once his nomination is approved at KITA’s general meeting next Wednesday.

Koo will be the first KITA chief in 15 years who does not come from a civil service background. Since 2006, the organization has been led by former high-profile government officials.

The businessman would also be following in the footsteps of his late father, Koo Pyeong-hoe, who had filled the seat from 1994 to 1999.

LS Group, where Koo currently sits as chairman, was spun off from LG Group in 2003 and includes energy affiliates such as LS Cable & System and LS Electric.

Since joining Lucky Goldstar International -- which was later renamed LG International -- in 1978, Koo has served in various posts at the conglomerate’s trade and financial affiliates and rose to take the helm as LS Group’s second chairman in 2013.

Meanwhile, KITA’s incumbent chairman Kim Young-joo is to step down at the end of this month, after serving two consecutive terms since 2017. He has said earlier that he will not serve another term.

By Bae Hyun-jung (tellme@heraldcorp.com)
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