LG heir Koo Kwang-mo to represent board on reports of LG chair in coma

2018.05.17 16:00:03 | 2018.05.17 16:02:32

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Koo Kwang-mo, 40-year-old heir-apparent to South Korea’s fourth largest conglomerate LG Group, was appointed on Thursday as a registered member of the board of directors of LG Corp., the group’s holding entity, amid reports that group chair Koo Bon-moo is in a coma.

LG announced on Thursday that it held a board meeting to nominate the younger Koo as a registered director. The adopted son has been groomed as the heir upon heading the Information Display (ID) division of LG Electronics Inc. since the beginning of this year.

His nomination is suspected to be part of the group’s accelerated efforts to hand down management as his father’s conditions are said to be deteriorating following several surgeries, according to a source from the business circle.

It is still very common among Korean chaebols to keep management within the family.

Kwang-mo, born to Koo Bon-neung, head of Heesung Group and younger brother of the LG Group chair was adopted by the elder Koo who did not have any sons, under the family tradition.

He is the third largest shareholder with a 6.24 percent stake in LG after his father and LG Group chairman with a 11.28 percent stake and his uncle and the group vice chairman Koo Bon-joon with a 7.72 percent stake.

The younger Koo who had started his career at LG Electronics in 2006 served at the company’s New Jersey unit, Home Entertainment (HE) department’s product planning team and Changwon manufacturing facilities. He was promoted as vice president of LG Corp., the group’s holding entity, in 2014 and has been serving at Synergy Team for the last three years. He has been apparently groomed as the heir upon rejoining LG Electronics headquarters after he finished MBA course at Stanford University in 2013.

Early this year, the younger Koo, who is currently leading LG Electronics’ Information Display (ID) division under a new business-to-business (B2B) unit, debuted on the international stage by spearheading marketing for commercial organic light-emitting diode (OLED) signage displays at the International Systems Europe (ISE) 2018, the Europe’s largest audio and visual systems integration show. The trade show has been a coming-out party for other heirs of Samsung and Hyundai Motor Group in his generation.

Koo Bon-moo has been leading the LG dynasty since 1995 after the group founder and his grandfather Koo In-hwoi and father Koo Ja-kyung. The 73-year-old chairman reportedly has been bedridden since the beginning of the year and recently his condition has deteriorated, according to sources.

Shares of LG Corp. on Thursday closed down 0.76 percent at 78,800 won ($72.88) from the previous session.

By Lee Jae-chul and Choi Mira

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