Seasoned strategist named as LG COO - Korea Times
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Seasoned strategist named as LG COO

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From left are LG Group COO Kwon Bong-seok, LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo and LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan / Courtesy of LG Group
From left are LG Group COO Kwon Bong-seok, LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo and LG Electronics CEO Cho Joo-wan / Courtesy of LG Group

By Kim Bo-eun, Kim Yoo-chul

A seasoned strategist was appointed as the chief operating officer (COO) of the country's fourth-largest conglomerate.

In a year-end reshuffle on C-suite level, Thursday, LG Corp. said its board has approved LG Electronics CEO Kwon Bong-seok to lead the group-wide business strategy. Kwon was also promoted as the group's vice chairman.

"LG Electronics CEO Kwon's new assignment is how to explore the best possible chances in terms of preparing the group for the future on a sustainable basis as the group's COO. LG Corp.'s board credited Kwon's contribution in strengthening the profit bottom line at LG Electronics," the company said in its statement.

Born in 1963, Kwon was the hidden force that helped LG Electronics rise to the world's top LCD monitor business. He had been chief of LG's TV business since late 2015 and was in charge of driving the company's OLED TV business. Kwon was appointed CEO of LG Electronics in late 2019. He was also the chief of LG Corp.'s synergy team, a group strategy unit.

The newly appointed COO is the replacement of Kwon Young-soo, who was assigned to address client-related issues at LG Energy Solution as the CEO of the group's battery affiliate. In a separate statement, LG Energy Solution named Lee Bang-soo as its chief risk management officer.

But while LG officials were stressing that this year's year-end reshuffle of the top brass was aimed at pursuing a generational shift to put more emphasis on younger generations, it left LG Household Chairman Cha Seok-yong in place despite his controversial reign within the group for more than 10 years. Born in 1953, Cha is almost 70 years old. Earlier thoughts were that he would be replaced.

Kwon's successor as LG Electronics CEO will be Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Cho Joo-wan. The company said Cho is best suited for the CEO position based on his extensive overseas experience and strategic capabilities.

Cho joined LG Electronics in 1987 and was stationed at the company's operations in major overseas markets including the U.S., Germany and Australia.

Cho headed LG Electronics' North America operation for six years, from 2014 to 2019. He is acknowledged for leading the setup of LG's intelligent autonomous factory in Clarksville, Tennessee.

Cho assumed the CSO position in December 2019. He was behind key M&A decisions as well as the fostering of venture companies within LG. The chief strategy office was reestablished in 2019 to work across all business units and LG sister companies.

LG also appointed three new executive vice presidents, nine executive directors and 37 directors. The company said the latest promotions were based on achievements, which resulted in the appointment of younger executives. Also notable is the appointment of female executives and outside figures.

Kim Yoo-chul
Kim Bo-eun

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