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Cho Seok-rae Appointed Federation of Korean Industries Chairman

Cho Seok-rae Appointed Federation of Korean Industries Chairman

Posted March. 20, 2007 07:15,   


Cho Seok-rae, the 72-year-old chairman of the Hyosung Group, has been appointed as the new chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI).

Kang Shin-ho, the current FKI chair, presided over a meeting of the board of chairmen yesterday at the FKI building to appoint a new chair. He said in a press conference after the meeting, “The board of chairmen agreed to appoint Cho as the next chairman.”

Cho will be officially appointed as the 31st FKI chairman at a special plenary session today.

Ten members, including Kang, Daelim Group Chairman Lee Joon-yong, Tongyang Group Chairman Hyun Jae-hyu, and FKI Standing Vice Chairman Cho Geon-ho attended yesterday’s meeting. Cho Seok-rae was not present as he was visiting Japan.

Regarding Cho’s acceptance of the appointment, Kang said, “Cho expressed his will to serve as the FKI chair in the plenary session on February 27.”

This ends one-and-a-half months of twists and turns to appoint a new chairman.

The FKI had planned to approve the reappointment of Kang at a meeting of the board of chairmen in late January. However, faced with opposition from some chairmen of the board, Kang gave up taking office again two days prior to the plenary session.

The FKI postponed the plenary session to February 27 to find a new candidate, but failed to appoint one in the plenary meeting due to diverging opinions and conflicts within the board.

Cho is considered a business leader equipped with expertise, knowledge, and global insight.

Born in Hamyang in South Gyeongsang Province in 1935, he graduated from Gyeonggi High School and Waseda University with a science and engineering BA and studied chemical engineering at the Illinois Institute of Technology in the U.S.

While pursuing a doctorate degree, he came back to Korea in February 1966 at the request of his father, Cho Hong-je, the now-deceased founder of Hyosung Group. Upon returning, he entered Hyosung Corporation as a general manager. Serving as a chief of the construction division of Tongyang Nylon, which played a key role in the growth of Hyosung Group, he spearheaded the construction of the company’s Ulsan plant. Establishing Tongyang Polyester in 1973 and Hyosung Heavy Industries in 1975, he led the expansion of Hyosung Group.

Since his appointment as the FKI vice chairman in 1987, he has actively engaged in external activities as the vice chair of the Korea Chinese Business Association, the Korean chair of the U.S.-Korea Business Council, and the chair of Japan-Korea Business Conference.