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Poll Shows Most Korean CEOs Hail from Seoul National University

Poll Shows Most Korean CEOs Hail from Seoul National University

Posted March. 28, 2007 07:34,   


The Department of Business Administration of Seoul National University (SNU), the most prestigious university in South Korea, produced the largest number of Chief Executive Officers from 500 domestic companies among its other departments, according to a recent survey. Also, SNU boasts of making the largest number of CEOs in a poll of 500 local firms among local universities.

Global CEO Magazine recently surveyed educational backgrounds and majors of 511 CEOs from 500 local firms and disclosed the results on March 17. According to the survey, 17l (33.5%) CEOs are graduates of Seoul National University. Yonsei University ranked second with 73 (14.3%) CEOs, followed by Korea University’s 61 (11.9%), Hanyang University’s 36 (7.0%), and Sung Kyun Kwan University’s 23 (4.5%). Among universities located outside of Seoul, Pusan University came in first with 12 (2.3%) CEOs, followed by Dong-A University (4.5%) and Yeungnam University (4%).

Kim Jung-man, vice president of LG Industrial Systems and Shin Hyeon-chul, president of SK Corporation, graduated from Pusan University, while Kang Byung-jung, chairman of Nexen Tire graduated from Dong-A University. Lee Seung-hwan, president of Samsung Tesco and Won Hyun-soo, CEO of Kolon Construction are graduates of Yeungnam University.

Majors in business administration account for the largest proportion with 149 (29.9%) CEOs, followed by economics (51, 10.0%), law (34, 6.7%), mechanical engineering (25, 4.9%) and chemistry (25, 4.9%). The business administration of Seoul National University produced the biggest number of CEOs (32, or 6.3%).

Kim Sang-beom, chairman of Isu Chemical, Nam Jung-soo, president of KT, Kwon Young-soo, president of LG Philips LCD, Lee Dong-ho, president of Daewoo Motor Sales, and Roh Jung-ik, president of Hyundai Merchant Marine majored in business administration at SNU. Meanwhile, 31 (6.1%) CEOs, including Lee Byung-moo, chairman of the Asia Cement Co. and Seo Kyung-bae, chairman of Pacific Group, graduated from Yonsei University and majored in business administration. The Department of Business Administration of Korea University produced 20 (5.5%) CEOs, such as Heo Chang-soo, president of GS Group and Lee Woong-yeol, chairman of Kolon Industries. The Department of Law at SNU produced 17 (3.3%) CEOs, and the Department of Economics produced 14 (2.25) CEOs.

Among foreign universities, Waseda University ranked first with 4 (0.8%) CEOs. Jo Seok-rae who was newly elected as chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries is a graduate of that university.