Drastic personal reshuffles set to hit Hyundai Motor, SK, LG
By Jun Ji-hye
Concerns are mounting among senior executives at Samsung, Hyundai Motor, LG, SK and other large business groups as the companies are poised to carry out drastic personnel reshuffles later this year than in previous years, industry officials said Tuesday.
They said the companies are expected to seek generational changes while reducing the number of executives in their upcoming reshuffles to cut costs and increase efficiency, amid unfavorable factors at home and abroad such as the prolonged U.S.-China trade war and Japan's export restrictions on Korea, in addition to stagnant domestic consumption.
What adds weight to the possibility for the generational shift is the fact that young and new leaders, including LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo and Hyundai Motor Group Executive Vice Chairman Chung Euisun, have come forward over the past year.
Large businesses here have also appeared to have reduced the number of their executives every year. According to recruiting company Unico Search, the nation's top 100 companies had a total of 7,212 executives in 2014, but the number decreased to 6750 this year.
"New group leaders are expected to seek innovation for growth through personnel reshuffles," an official from one of the conglomerates said on condition of anonymity. "Upcoming personnel reshuffles will also become one of the tools to show their leadership styles."
LG Group is expected to announce a personnel reshuffle at the end of this month or the beginning of next month.
Eyes are on whether the group will keep its four vice chairmen or form new leadership at its affiliates. The four are LG Corp. Vice Chairman Kwon Young-soo, LG Uplus Vice Chairman Ha Hyun-hwoi, LG Electronics Vice Chairman Jo Seong-jin and LG Household & Health Care Vice Chairman Cha Suk-yong.
Hyundai Motor Group, which has conducted a year-end personnel reshuffle, announced a decision in April to carry out reshuffles frequently whenever they are needed.
The group is expected to lay off senior executives who have shown poor performances soon, and push for personnel innovation in the future car sectors, as Executive Vice Chairman Chung has been actively pushing to enhance the group's presence in the global future car market.
SK Group is expected to carry out a personnel reshuffle next month, with industry officials paying attention to whether CEOs who have served for the past three years will keep their positions.
SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho, SK Innovation CEO Kim Jun and SK Holdings CEO Jang Dong-hyun were assigned to the posts at the end of 2016.
Lotte Group is also expected to carry out a large-scale personnel reshuffle as Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin has been stressing change and innovation.
"Change and innovation have become the keys to companies' growth in the rapidly changing global market," another conglomerate official said. "Companies are expected to map out diverse survival strategies including personnel innovation to improve management efficiency."
Industry officials said, however, that it is uncertain when Samsung Group will carry out its reshuffle due to the ongoing trial of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong on bribery charges involving former President Park Geun-hye.