By Baek Byung-yeul
|LG Electronics CEO Kwon Bong-seok|
The home appliance maker held its annual general shareholders meeting Thursday which approved the addition of a new clause in the company's articles of incorporation, which states "the objectives of the company are to carry out telemarketing and e-commerce business."
The new article shows the company's plan to pursue selling consumer goods such as food, or detergent used in its home appliances, through its LG ThinQ app, LG said.
Through the app, which enables its users to remotely control and manage LG devices, consumers will be able to order consumer goods similar to how Amazon's Dash service works.
With the new articles, LG Electronics is also expected to boost synergy between LG Group affiliates. The group's portfolio encompasses a wide spectrum: LG Electronics produces electronics, LG U+ provides telecommunications services and LG H&H makes consumable goods.
Unveiling its business plan, the company said it will try to find a new business opportunity in the services software business with its artificial intelligence (AI) technology platform ThinQ and webOS Auto, software for connected cars, and keep investing in emerging technologies in the AI, big data and robotics sectors.
At the meeting, shareholders approved the appointment of Kwon Bong-seok as chief executive officer and Bae Doo-yong as chief financial officer. The two executives were also appointed as board directors.
During an annual reshuffle conducted in November 2019, Kwon, the chief of LG's mobile communications and home entertainment divisions, was named new CEO.
|SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho speaks during a general shareholders meeting at its headquarters in Seoul, Thursday. / Courtesy of SK Telecom|
SK Telecom, the country's leading mobile carrier, also held its annual shareholders meeting the same day and vowed to develop a "contactless" business model to find a breakthrough amid growing uncertainties posed by the coronavirus outbreak.
"Since we started to work from home, we have seen no problems when more than 100 employees participated in video conferencing through our voice and video calling app T Phone," SK Telecom CEO Park Jung-ho said. "Taking this time as an opportunity, we are trying to adopt contactless sales and marketing activities."
Park noted that the virus outbreak has negatively affecting the company, which has a wide-ranging business portfolio from telecommunications and security to e-commerce.
"Due to the coronavirus, the number of people leaving the country decreased by 80 percent and our international roaming business is suffering a direct hit from that," he said. "Also, small business owners are increasingly canceling their subscriptions to our security service ADT Caps. The decreased offline commercial activity may exercise a negative influence on the e-commerce business as well."
Sharing its business plan on fifth-generation (5G) networks, the CEO said it will try to seek more partnerships with international players in order to offer more content to its subscribers.
"We desperately need to have super cooperation to create profitable business models. As part of that, I met with CEOs from companies such as Microsoft and we will be able to create an environment for a cloud gaming service within this year," he said.
During the meeting, shareholders approved Park's reappointment as a director of the board. In a bid to join the "social distancing" campaign to contain the spread of the virus, the mobile carrier live streamed the general meeting online. The company also had a live question and answer session with shareholders who joined the meeting through their mobile phones or PCs.
"By adopting the online question and answer session, we wanted to break the somewhat uncomfortable atmosphere of the general meeting and create an open culture," the company said.