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Second and third generations taking power at top chaebol

Second and third generations taking power at top chaebol

Posted March. 13, 2001 13:21,   


Plans by the owners of large conglomerates to retain family control over the ``chaebol`` are becoming clearer with the appointment of relatives to key positions within the groups. Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-Hee`s eldest son Jae-Yong, 33, was recently named as assistant managing director of Samsung Electronics and SK, Lotte and other groups also are laying the groundwork for family succession through appointments and reorganization of equity holdings. Despite widespread criticism of the practice, the emergence of second- and third-generation chaebol owners has become more visible since the second half of last year. :--Ed.

Withdrawal of the first generation and emergence of second and third generations:

Of the 23 members of the Federation of Korean Industries` board of chairmen, TriGem Computer Inc. honorary chairman Lee Yong-Teh is the only remaining company founder. Most others are second-generation owners and LG Group chairman Koo Bon-Moo and Kolon chairman Lee Woong-Yeul are members of the third-generation. There are some cases in which even fourth-generation family members are taking up key executive posts in certain companies. At Doosan Group, which emerged as the nation`s 8th largest conglomerate by taking over Korea Heavy Industries and Construction (HANJUNG), honorary chairman Park Yong-Kon`s eldest son Jeng-Won, 39, who is vice president of Doosan Corp., and second son Gee-Won, 36, who is managing director of the group`s car unit, are members of the fourth generation.

Accelerating ownership succession at major business groups:

It is believed that SK chairman Chey Tae-Won has consolidated its control over the group since the second half of last year. He is the largest shareholder of SK C&C, which is the group`s new holding company. Lotte Group chairman Shin Kyuk-Ho`s second son Shin Dong-Bin, vice chairman of the group, is also expected to inject fresh vitality into the group. The third-generation at the Hyundai Group is also ready to take over the reins of power.

Chung Eui-Sun, only son of Hyundai-Kia Motor chairman Chung Mong-Koo and eldest grandson of Chung Ju-Young, former honorary chairman of Hyundai Group, was promoted to managing director from director at the end of last year. He now heads the procurement department. Chung Il-Sun, eldest son of Chung Mong-Woo, second son of honorary chairman Chung, who died last year, was promoted to managing director of Inchon Iron & Steel early this year and is now working as head of Sammi Steel`s Seoul Office. Chung Ji-Sun, eldest son of Hyundai Department Store chairman Chung Mong-Keun, was also promoted to head of the planning department early this year.

Descendants of second-string business groups also climbing ladder:

Three sons of Hyosung Group chairman Cho Suk-Rai are working in the strategy headquarters at Hyosung Corp. Eldest son Hyun-Joon is executive director of the company, while second son Hyun-Moon, an international lawyer, and third son Hyun-Sang, work as directors, overseeing groupwide operations. Daelim Industrial chairman Lee Joon-Yong`s eldest son Lee Hae-Wook is involved in corporate planning while Sam Yang Corp. honorary chairman Kim Sang-Hong`s eldest son Kim Yoon, vice chairman of the group, and Samhwan Enterprise honorary chairman Choi Chong-Hwan`s eldest son Choi Yong-Kwon, are also consolidating their positions ahead of taking over their respective firms.