Hanwha Ocean logo [Courtesy of Hanwha Ocean]
Daewoo, once one of the most powerful names in the history of South Korean conglomerates, is slowly fading into history, with only four affiliates of the former Daewoo Group remaining as of Tuesday, sharply down from 41 affiliates during the workout in 1999.
Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering Co. acquired by Hanwha Group changed its name to Hanwha Ocean on Tuesday during an ad-hoc shareholder meeting. New names were also added to the top management list, including Hanwha Group Vice Chairman Kim Dong-kwan who joined the board as non-executive director.
Daewoo Shipbuilding dropped Daewoo from its name that had been in place for 45 years when Daewoo Group, once the second-largest conglomerate in Korea, acquired Daehan Shipbuilding in 1978.
According to an analysis by Maeil Business Newspaper on the Financial Supervisory Service disclosures, there are only four companies that have Daewoo in their names - Daewoo Engineering & Construction Co., Tata Daewoo Commercial Vehicle Co., Daewoo Development Co., and Daewoo Logistics Corp.
Daewoo Shipbuilding Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Park Doo-sun told employees Monday, one day before the shareholders meeting, that “the epoch-making Daewoo name will disappear into history” and encouraged them to “realize the dream of a world-class company based on the extraordinary pioneering spirit and loyalty” that remains in the Daewoo DNA.
Daewoo Group dismantled in 1999 but its core affiliates still remained, such as Daewoo International, Daewoo E&C, and Daewoo Shipbuilding. The brand name remained strong in regions such as the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Eastern Europe.
After 2010, however, a number of companies dropped Daewoo from their names.
GM Daewoo, formerly Daewoo Motors, changed its name to GM Korea Co. in 2011. Daewoo International, the trading arm of Daewoo Group, changed its name to POSCO Daewoo Corp. after the acquisition by POSCO in 2010. It dropped Daewoo from its name and became POSCO International in 2019.
Daewoo Securities was taken over by Mirae Asset Securities Co. in 2016. It maintained the corporate name until a name change in 2021.
Daewoo Electronics also kept its brand name for nearly 20 years but changed its name to Winia Electronics Co. in 2020.
The name drop is due to the weakened brand value, which was especially hit by the accounting scandal at Daewoo Shipbuilding in 2016.
There may be only a few companies with Daewoo in the names but there are many former Daewoo employees in the business field.
Korea Development Bank Chairman Kang Seog-hoon that led the sale of Daewoo Shipbuilding to Hanwha Group was formerly an employee at the Daewoo Economic Research Institute.
Former CEO of the Hanwha Energy Corp. Jung In-Sub also worked for Daewoo in the past. Seo Jung-jin, founder of Celltrion Group, was the youngest executive at Daewoo Motor Sales. POSCO International Vice Chairman Jeong Tak was a global salesman at Daewoo.
NH Investment & Securities Co. CEO Jeong Young-chae and Shinhan Investment Corp. CEO Kim Sang-Tae are both known as former Daewoo Securities employees.
Representative Kang Byung-won of the Democratic Party had also formerly worked at Daewoo. Representative Hong Sung-kook of the same party also formerly served as a research center head and president at Daewoo Securities.
By Oh Soo-hyun, Seong Seung-hoon, and Chang Iou-chung
[ⓒ Pulse by Maeil Business Newspaper & mk.co.kr, All rights reserved]