On September 6, POSCO refuted one media report that its CEO Jung Joon-yang intended to resign.
On this day, a high-ranking POSCO official said, “It is not true that Jung expressed his intention to resign to the Blue House or the government,” and added, “The report is false.”
One media outlet quoted a high-ranking Blue House official and reported that Jung expressed intent to resign after saying he will not cling on to his term, and that he will choose to resign honorably.
Jung assumed office in early 2009 during former President Lee Myung-bak’s administration, and was successfully reappointed to another term. His term ends in March 2015, which is 1 year and 6 months later.
Jung’s position became an issue after President Park Geun-hye came into office. There has been a rumor about the new government pressuring Jung to resign so that it can replace the CEO who was reappointed during the former president’s term. Another controversy sprouted over the position of KT CEO Lee Seok-chae, who had his right of personnel management practically handed over to the government, just because KT is a privatized public company like POSCO.
As for Jung, he missed several public appearance opportunities such as the state banquet in June, when President Park Geun-hye was visiting China and the Blue House luncheon with the top ten groups’ owners and leaders, virtually proving his conflict with the government. Jung, as well as KT CEO Lee Seok-chae, has been left out of President Park’s economic mission to Vietnam on September 7 through 11.
It has also been analyzed that the National Tax Service’s recent special tax audits on POSCO after three years may have been to pressure Jung’s resignation. Some POSCO associates and others see it as unlikely for the government to have led such audits while incurring suspicion, if Jung had already showed his intent to resign.
Internally, POSCO is concerned about the negative impacts that the “lack of a leader figure” may bring to the currently on-going business restructuring, as well as the profit restructuring due to the recent weak business from the steel industry.