LG Group speeds up leadership succession to Koo Kwang-mo

By Song Su-hyun

LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo hospitalized, reportedly in critical condition

  • Published : May 17, 2018 - 15:35
  • Updated : May 17, 2018 - 16:20

LG Group, the fourth-largest conglomerate in South Korea, is speeding up its leadership inheritance process from the third generation of the owner family to the fourth generation, largely due to the incumbent chairman’s illness, the group said Thursday.

Koo Kwang-mo, the only son of Chairman Koo Bon-moo was nominated as a board member at an emergency meeting of the directors early in the day after it was reported that the chairman had been hospitalized in critical condition.

“The board held a meeting today to discuss the nomination of Koo Gwang-mo, vice president of LG Electronics, as an internal board member,” the group said in a statement. 

“The discussion was needed in order to have an additional member representative of the shareholders to participate in the board of directors as the role of Chairman Koo Bon-moo is to be limited due to his illness.”

LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo (left) and LG Electronics's B2B Company Vice President Koo Kwang-mo (LG Group)

The group added, “The discussion is also part of the measures to prepare for succession of the leadership.”

The 73-year-old Chairman Koo has been receiving treatment at Seoul National University Hospital for more than a year since he had surgery early last year. Details of his illness was not confirmed.

The younger Koo, born in 1978, joined LG Electronics’ finance team in 2006.

For the past 10 years, Koo Gwang-mo worked as a working-level official at the electronics subsidiary’s home appliances and TV businesses, and the group’s synergy team.

He was promoted to vice president in 2015, and moved to the group’s strategy team in 2017.

Currently, he is leading the Information Display Business under the B2B Company of LG Electronics.

Koo’s nomination needs to be approved at a shareholders’ meeting slated for June 29.

“Although the younger Koo is part of the owner family, he has been building capabilities to lead businesses through LG’s tradition and principles through sufficient training,” the group said.

The senior Koo’s hospitalization came just a week after the group was targeted by the prosecution last week for alleged tax evasion amounting to 10 billion won.

In a speech to celebrate the group’s 70th anniversary last year, Chairman Koo had emphasized, “LG should continue to be a corporation respected and trusted by society.”

LG began as a chemical firm in 1947, is now a company which sells a wide range of products from home appliances to electricity storage system with an annual revenue of 150 trillion won.

By Song Su-hyun (