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Chaebol Children Becoming Executives at Younger Age
130 Executives from Owner Families Aged Under 50
Chaebol Children Becoming Executives at Younger Age
  • By Michael Herh
  • January 29, 2019, 12:39
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Children of chaebol leaders are becoming executives at their family-run business groups at a younger age than before.

Chaebol family members are becoming corporate executives at a younger age than before.

The number of chaebol children who were born after 1970 and have become executives at major business groups is estimated at 130. Three major business conglomerates are run by a chairman in his 40s and others have executives even in their 20s. Among them, only 20 are women, showing that the succession of managerial control is still male-oriented.

These are some of the findings obtained by the Korea CXO Institute, a business data analysis firm, through its analysis of the executives from owner families at 200 largest business groups in Korea.

The three group chairmen in their 40s include Koo Kwang-mo (41) of LG group, Chung Ji-sun (47) of Hyundai Department Store Group, and Lee In-ok (48) of Chosun Refractories. Koo, who took office last year, is currently the youngest among the chairmen of top 10 business groups in Korea.

According to the report, there are nine vice chairmen who are from owner families and aged under 50. The first in line to be in the chairman position next is Chung Eui-sun, 49, the son of Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-goo, and Kim Nam-jung, 46, the second son of Dongwon Group chairman Kim Jae-chul.

There are 38 executives from owner families with titles equivalent to CEO, including Kang Ho-chan (48) of Nexen Tire Corp., Cho Won-tae (44) of Korean Air, Park Se-chang (44) of Asiana IDT, and Yang Hong-seok (38) of Daishin Securities, who are likely to take over managerial control of their family-run companies.

In addition, there are 34 vice presidents, 18 senior managing directors, 15 managing directors, and 13 executives, all from owner families and aged under 50.

By gender, there are a total of 20 female executives, including two presidents (Lee Boo-jin, 49, of Hotel Shilla and Chung Yoo-kyung, 47, of Shinsegae Department Store) and three vice presidents (Lim Ju-hyun, 45, of Hanmi Pharmaceutical, Woo Yeon-ah, 42, of Korea Line Corp., and Jo Yeon-joo, 40, of Hanmi Chemicals. They accounted for only 15.4 percent of the total.

Of the 95 whose college education has been confirmed, 50 had studied abroad, outnumbering those who graduated from Korean colleges. By major, economics and business administration were the most popular, with 34 majoring in them.

By college,Yonsei University had the largest number of graduates. A total of 13 executives, including Shilla Hotel president Lee Boo-jin, Nexen Tire president Kang Ho-chan, Asiana IDT president Park Se-chang, Hyundai Heavy Industries vice president Chung Ki-sun (37), and Hyosung Group president Cho Hyun-sang (48), are all Yonsei University alumni.