LG Chief Operating Officer and Vice Chairman Kwon Young-soo, front row right, is seen next to President Moon Jae-in, center, during a presidential visit to LG Energy Solution’s battery manufacturing facility in Ochang, North Chungcheong Province, in this file photo. Yonhap
By Kim Yoo-chul
In a rather surprise move, LG Group Chief Operating Officer (COO) and Vice Chairman Kwon Young-woo was appointed as LG Energy Solution (LGES) CEO, LG said, Monday.
The appointment of Kwon, a veteran business person and also the top confidant of LG Chairman Koo Kwang-mo, came as LGES is facing a lot of daunting tasks and numerous challenges mostly related to client-oriented issues. LGES has emerged as the cash-cow for the group, replacing LG Electronics.
But a recent recall campaign with General Motors and Hyundai Motor has been questioning the validity of LGES’s growth trajectory, and investors have been saying LGES is at a crossroads of growth with its top client Tesla intending to use cheaper batteries discounting LGES’ share price.
“My decision to lead the LGES is the result of discussions with Chairman Koo. I find what I can do for the group and there is more work to do. Again, I feel a responsibility to do something,” Kwon told The Korea Times by telephone.
LGES will hold a board meeting on Nov. 1 to approve Kwon as CEO. “LG’s battery business is something that we can’t afford to lose. My assignment is to help LGES cement its position in the global battery industry,” the vice chairman said.
Kwon was the “hidden force,” in terms of winning 1 trillion won worth of financial backing from Dutch-based Philips for the creation of LG Philips LCD, now LG Display. Under his leadership, LG Display rose as one of the world’s top display suppliers by supplying displays to Apple. Also, he was an “invisible hand” in terms of widening LGES’s client base to Tesla while he managed LG’s battery business division.
“LG needed the most trusted and proven personnel to lead the group’s battery business at this challenging time,” an LG spokesman said.Internet Explorer Channel Network