Hyundai Motor Group’s business policy to run with research and development (R&D) has been confirmed in its annual reshuffle this year once again.
The group has promoted 11 executives to vice president in the annual reshuffle for 2017 on Feb. 6, and seven of the promotions were from R&D. This is largely due to Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo’s will to continuously promote outstanding talents in the R&D sector in order to secure leading technologies for the future, such as eco-friendly cars and automotive information technologies (IT), and continuously grow. However, the total number of officials promoted marked a slight drop from last year since this year’s personnel reshuffle is to strengthen its substantial management in a bid to prepare for uncertainties in the business environment at home and abroad, and is a performance-based promotion.
One of the most noticeable changes in the personnel reshuffle this year was that CEO has been changed unprecedentedly. So far, Hyundai Motor Group has changed its CEOs through a personnel reshuffle on demand and promoted executives lower than the vice president-level through an annual reshuffle.
Sung Sang-rok was promoted from vice president to president of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, the group’s construction affiliate. Sung has wide experiences in building chemical engineering plants and obtaining orders. Therefore, his promotion appears to be the group’s request to preemptively respond and lay the groundwork for sustainable growth when international oil prices go up and market conditions are in bad shape.
In particular, the existing personnel appointment keynote to strengthen the R&D sector continued at the annual reshuffle this year. Last year, four out of eight vice presidents promoted were from the R&D divisions. This year, seven out of 11 vice presidents promoted were from the R&D sector, which accounts for a higher portion. The portion of executives promoted coming from the R&D or technology-related sectors in the total promoted takes up more than 40 percent again this year.
Remarkably, the group has promoted outstanding talents in the R&D sector to secure leading technologies in the future car sectors, including autonomous vehicle and environmentally friendly cars. Among those promoted was Jang Woong-jun, who has been in charge of developing the company’s advanced driver assistance system (ADAS), a key technology for self-driving cars used in the Genesis EQ900, was promoted to the post of a director, making him the youngest executive of the group at the age of 37. Three researchers were promoted to research fellow at the automaker’s independent research lab, which was established in 2009 to develop new car technology. The three are Hong Bo-ki, who has been in charge of developing technology related to fuel cell stacks, which measure the driving distance of fuel-cell electric vehicles, Gong Byung-seok, who has been in charge of developing technology related to car body, and Lee Hong-wook, who has been in charge of developing technology related to engines. They will focus on developing leading technologies only rather than management tasks.