Koo Ja-eun to take helm of LS Group in January

Asia's Tech News Daily

Koo Ja-eun to take helm of LS Group in January

Koo Ja-eun, new chairman of LS Group / Courtesy of LS Group

Conglomerate carries out biggest reshuffle involving 9 CEOs, 47 lower-level executives

By Yi Whan-woo

LS Group said Friday it appointed Koo Ja-eun, the chairman of LS Mtron who was the first in line for leadership succession, as its new chairman in a year-end reshuffle of the top brass.

The appointment of Koo, 57, comes under a succession tradition of cousins taking the family-owned conglomerate’s leadership by turns. The group was founded by their fathers in 2003 as a spinoff of LG Group.

The measure also comes in what the company called its “biggest-ever reshuffle of the top executives” involving nine affiliates.

Koo will officially take the helm of the conglomerate in January, continuing a nine-year cycle of leadership that has been carried out by his two older cousins ― Koo Ja-yeol, 68, and Koo Ja-hong, 74 ― since 2004.

“The newly appointed chairman especially is seen as the most qualified leader in leading LS to take its second leap,” the company said in a press release.

It noted Koo was behind its signature energy-efficiency project, in relation to global transition to green energies as well as the international business principle of environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG).

Some market observers viewed the new leadership can help enhance the generational shift.

Koo began his career at LG in 1990 as an entry-level employee, working in and outside Korea and building an extensive expertise in business areas that were once all covered by LG but now split among LS and another LG spinoff, GS.

The areas include electronics, oil refinery, trade, metal refining, power and telecommunication cables and agricultural machinery.

He joined LS in 2004 as the China director of LS Cable & System, the progenitor of the conglomerate, before being promoted to chairman of its agricultural machinery unit, LS MTron, in 2019.

Since then, he has represented LS Group at domestic and foreign events on behalf of Koo Ja-yeol and also managed LS Corp., the holding company of LS Group spearheading digital transformation and other innovative efforts.

Koo Ja-eun to take helm of LS Group in January

Myung Roe-hyun, new chirman of LS Corp. / Courtesy of LS Group

Koo Ja-eun to take helm of LS Group in January

Koo Bon-kyu, new chairman of LS Cable & System / Courtesy of LS Group

Koo Ja-eun to take helm of LS Group in January

Shin Chai-ho, new chairman of LS MTron chairman / Courtesy of LS Group

New CEOs were also named to lead nine affiliates, including LS Corp., LS Cable & System and LS MTron.

LS Corp. will be headed by Myung Roe-hyun, who was promoted after successfully managing LS Cable & System and expanding its presence in the global market despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

LS MTron Co-Vice Chairman Koo Bon-kyu was promoted to LS Cable & System chairman, in recognition for leading LS MTron bounce into the black after years of sluggish performance.

Shin Chai-ho, another co-vice chairman, will now serve as LS MTron chairman.

The reshuffle also included promotions of 47 executives, including two vice chairmen.

LS was co-founded by three younger brothers of LG Group founder Koo In-hoi.

They jointly departed LG to avoid bringing a burden on their eldest brother in making decisions on managerial rights.

Koo Ja-hong served as the group’s inaugural chairman from 2004 to 2013, given the fact that his father, Koo Tae-hoi, who was the fourth-oldest brother, was at the center of the cable business that still remains its flagship business.

Koo Ja-eun is likely to be the last second-generation chairman from the group’s founding families.

The group will then come under the leadership of third-generation chairmen.

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