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SK chief assumes chairman role at SK Telecom

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won
SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won
SK Group said Monday Chairman Chey Tae-won will assume the chairman title of its telecom unit SK Telecom to boost the group’s burgeoning artificial intelligence business.

SK said the chairman will play a supporting role as he serves as an unregistered director on the board rather than participating in the daily operations directly.

Chey has served as the chairman of SK Inc., the holding unit, as a board member, while taking the chairman post of SK Innovation, the chemicals and energy unit, and SK hynix, the chipmaker, as an unregistered director. He receives pay from SK Corp. and SK hynix.

His chairmanship at SK Telecom comes as the company is pouring resources into the nascent but lucrative AI business. In January, the firm, along with SK hynix and SK Square, the group’s investment unit, created an in-house alliance to launch a new AI foundry company, called Sapeon, in the US.

In May last year, SK Telecom launched an AI task force, named Apollo, to lead the group’s AI innovation with plans to spin off the firm in the future. Industry sources say Chey could lead the Apollo team to combine AI capabilities across all SK companies, speeding up the overall decision-making process, especially for key investments like M&As.

“Transforming into a global AI company is a mission that cannot be delayed any longer, and time is running out for the new challenge,” Chey said in a message to employees earlier in the day.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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