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What is Annual Income of Korean Top CEOs?
Korean CEO Compensation
What is Annual Income of Korean Top CEOs?
  • By Jung Suk-yee
  • April 4, 2016, 02:15
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Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun was the highest-paid executive by taking 14.95 billion won (US$12.98 million) last year, which is higher than the salary taken by Jung Mong-koo, the owner and chairman of Htundai Motor Group
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun was the highest-paid executive by taking 14.95 billion won (US$12.98 million) last year, which is higher than the salary taken by Jung Mong-koo, the owner and chairman of Htundai Motor Group

 

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun was the highest-paid executive among registered executives of domestic companies last year. Kwon took home 14.95 billion won (US$12.98 million) last year, outpacing the chairmen of leading Korean conglomerates. Samsung Electronics CEO Shin Jong-kyun, who was the highest-paid executive in 2014, ranked second, seeing his paycheck drop by about 10 billion won (US$86.8 million) year on year from 14.57 billion won (US$12.65 million) to 4.8 billion won (US$4.17 million).

Among the executives who are founders or family members of the founder, Chung Mong-koo of Hyundai Motor Group topped the list by pocketing 9.8 billion won (US$8.51 million) last year, followed by Hanjin Group Chariaman Cho Yang-ho, LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo and Hyosung Group Chairman Cho Suck-rae.

The figures are based on the data from firms which submitted 2015 business reports to the Data Analysis, Retrieval and Transfer System of the Financial Supervisory Service on March 30. Under the revised capital market act, listed companies are required to reveal pay information of registered executives who make more than 500 million won (US$434,028) annually.

The wide wage gap between Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun and CEO Shin Jong-kyun, who ranked first and second in professional executive annual salary rankings last year, was largely due to performance. Kwon, who leads Samsung Electronics’ device solutions (DS) division, significantly improved operating profits in the system LSI and display businesses as well as the expansion of the company’s capacity in memory chips. He posted 12.86 trillion won (US$11.16 billion) in operating profits in the semiconductor sector last year, up 4.05 trillion won (US$3.52 billion) from the previous year. Accordingly, Kwon’s annual salary was 2.08 billion won (US$1.81 million) last year, while his bonuses and incentives amounted to 4.84 billion won (US$4.2 million).

On the other hand, Shin’s paycheck dropped by two thirds as operating profits of Samsung’s smartphone business stood at 10.16 trillion won (US$8.82 billion), down 4 trillion won (US$3.47 billion) compared to 2014. 

An annual salary of Yoon Boo-keun, head of the consumer electronics (CE) division at Samsung Electronics, decreased by a third to 3.7 billion won (US$3.21 million) last year from 5.4 billion won (US$4.77 million) in the previous year, while the figure of Lee Sang-hoon, president of the Corporate Management Office at Samsung Electronics, dropped by 18 percent to 3.18 (US$2.76 million) from 3.86 billion won (US$3.35 million) in 2014.

Choi Chi-hun, president of the construction division at Samsung C&T, was paid 2.02 billion won (US$1.75 million) last year, while Kim Shin, president of the trading & investment group, and Kim Bong-yung, president of the resort unit, were paid 1.57 billion won (US$1.36 million) and 1.16 billion won (US$1 million), respectively.

Hyundai Motor CEO Yoon Gap-han received an annual salary of 1.05 billion won (US$914,063) and Hyundai Steel Vice Chairman Woo Yoo-Cheol earned 1.62 billion won (US$1.41 million). The paycheck of Cha Suk-yong, vice chairman of LG Household & Health Care, nearly doubled, from 1.17 billion won (US$1.01 million) in 2014 to 2.15 billion won (US$1.87 million) last year. LG Chem Vice Chairman Park Jin-soo was paid 1.79 billion won (US$1.56 million) last year.

For SK Group, Kim Chang-geun, chairman of both the board of SK Innovation and SK SUPEX Council, received 2.61 billion won (US$2.26 million), while SK Holdings CEO Cho Dae-sik and SK Hynix CEO Park Sung-wook were paid 1.42 billion won (US$1.23 million) and 1.55 billion won (US$1.34 million), respectively.

POSCO CEO Kwon Oh-joon received an annual salary of 1.21 billion won (US$1.05 million), excluding voluntary pay returns for four months, while Posco Daewoo CEO Kim Young-sang earned 533 million won (US$462,674).

In the investment banking industry, Choi Hee-moon, CEO of Meritz Securities which posted the record-breaking performance last year, ranked first in the list at an annual salary of 2.7 billion won (US$2.34 million). Korea Investment & Securities President Yoo Sang-ho was paid 1.73 billion won (US$1.5 million).

In the Internet and game industry, Naver CEO Kim Sang-hun topped the list with 2.24 billion won (US$1.94 million) in total, including an annual salary of 900 million won (US$781,250) and bonuses and incentives of 1.34 billion won (US$1.16 million), followed by NCSoft CEO Kim Taek-jin with 2.12 billion won (US$1.84 million) and LINE CFO Hwang In-joon with 1.43 billion won (US$1.24 million).

Owner CEO Salaries

Among the executives who are founders or family members of the founder, Chung Mong-koo of Hyundai Motor Group topped the annual salary rankings by pocketing 9.8 billion won (US$8.51 million) last year. Still, this is a drop from the 11.7 billion won (US$10.16 million) he took home a year earlier, as he resigned from the registered executive at Hyundai Steel in 2014. His son, Chung Ui-sun, vice chairman of Hyundai Motor Group, was paid a total of 2.47 billion won (US$2.14 million) last year, including 1.87 billion won (US$1.62 million) form Hyundai Motor and 600 million won (US$520,833) from Hyundai Mobis.

Lee Boo-jin, CEO of Hotel Shilla, was the only member of Samsung’s founding family who revealed the paycheck she received for last year. She made 2.03 billion won (US$1.76 million), up 60 percent from the previous year.

For LG Group, Chairman Koo Bon-moo was paid 5.35 billion won (US$4.64 million), up 21 percent from 4.42 billion won (US$3.84 million) in 2014. His younger brother Koo Bon-joon, head of LG Group's new growth business, received an annual salary of 1.94 billion won (US$1.68 million) from LG Electronics.

For SK Group, SKC Chairman Choi Shin-won took home 1.73 billion won (US$1.5 million) last year, while Choi Chang-won, vice chairman of SK Gas and SK Chemicals, made 2.2 billion won (US$1.91 million).

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin received a total of 5.8 billion won (US$5.03 million), including 2 billion won (US$1.74 million) from Lotte Chemical, 1.5 billion won (US$1.3 million) from Lotte Chopping, 1 billion won (US$868.056) from Hotel Lotte, and 1.3 billion won (US$1.13 million) from Lotte Confectionery.

Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho was paid a total of 6.41 billion won (US$5.56 million) from Korean Air, Hanjin and Hanjin Kal.

LS Group Chairman Koo Ja-yeol took home 2.5 billion won (US$2.17 million), while its affiliate LSIS Chairman Koo Ja-Kyun received an annual salary of 2.22 billion won (US$1.93 million).

Hyosung paid Chairman Cho Suck-rae 4.41 billion won (US$3.83 million), President Cho Hyun-joon, the eldest son of Chairman Cho, 1.24 billion won (US$1.07 million) and Vice President Cho Hyun-sang, the third son of Chairman Cho, 1.2 billion won (US$1.04 million).

Hyundai Group Chairman Hyun Jeong-eun received a total of 4.53 billion won (US$3.93 million) from its affiliates, including 960 million won (US$833,333) from Hyundai Merchant Marine, 2.72 billion won (US$2.36 million) from Hyundai Elevator and 850 million won (US$737,847) from Hyundai Securities.

Park Chan-koo, chairman of Kumho Petrochemical which completed the spin-off between Kumho Group and its affiliates at the end of last year, took home 3.1 billion won (US$2.69 million), while Kumho Asiana Group Chairman Park Sam-koo was paid 584 million won (US$506.944) from Asiana Airlines.

Kolon Group Chairman Lee Woong-yeul received 2.21 billion won (US$1.92 million) and AmorePacific Chairman Suh Kyung-Bae made 2.98 billion won (US$2.59 million) last year.

GS Group Chairman Huh Chang-soo, who also serves as chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries (FKI), was paid a total of 3.8 billion won (US$3.3 million) from GS and GS Engineering & Construction last year. Doosan Infracore Chairman Park Yong-maan, who resigned as chairman of the group this year and chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, took home 1.4 billion won (US$1.22 million), while Park Jeong-won, who recently became chairman of Doosan Group, received an annual salary of 1.41 billion won (US$1.22 million) last year.