Hanjin Group chairman Cho Yang-ho died on April 8. He was 70 years old.
Korean Air said Cho died of lung disease at 0:16 a.m. at a hospital in Los Angeles.
The company said the funeral schedule and procedures would be announced as soon as they are decided later.
A Korean Air official said, "Chairman Cho was receiving treatment in the United States due to lung problems, but we understand that his condition has deteriorated rapidly due to the shock and stress over the loss of his seat on the Korean Air board of directors at a recent shareholders meeting."
Cho died at a hospital in Los Angeles in the presence of his family members, including his wife Lee Myung-hee, former chairwoman of the Ilwoo Foundation, his eldest son Cho Won-tae, president of Korean Air, his eldest daughter Cho Hyun-ah, a former vice president of Korean Air, and his second daughter Cho Hyun-min, a former executive director of Korean Air.
Cho has been staying in Los Angeles for medical purposes since December last year.
His wife and second daughter were reportedly nursing him in the U.S., and his son and first daughter left for the U.S. after being hastily contacted over the weekend.
“We are taking steps to bring the body of the deceased chairman to South Korea from L.A.”, a Korean Air official said.
Hanjin Group entered an emergency management system on Cho's sudden demise and said CEOs of the group's subsidiaries will make decisions on major issues to ensure aviation safety and a normal operation of the entire group.
Cho was born in Incheon in 1949 as the eldest son of the late Cho Joong-hoon, the founder of Hanjin Group.
He graduated from Inha University with a degree in industrial management and received a master's degree from the Graduate School of Business at Southern California University and a doctorate in business administration from Inha University.
Cho joined Korean Air in 1974 and served as president of Jungseok Co. in 1984 and Hanjin Information and Communications in 1989.
He became president of Korean Air in 1992, vice chairman of Hanjin Group in 1996, chairman of Korean Air in 1999 and chairman of Hanjin Group in 2003.
He served as a member of the International Air Transport Association's executive committee in 1996 and has served as a member of the IATA Strategic Policy Committee since 2014, representing Korea's national airliner in the international aviation industry.
He has been a vice chairman of the Federation of Korean Industries and vice chairman of the Korea Employers Federation, and has consistently voiced his opinions in the business community, while also contributing to private diplomacy by serving as vice chairman of the Korea-Japan Economic Association, chairman of the Korea-France CEO Club and chairman of the Korea-Saudi Economic Cooperation Committee.
Cho led the bidding committee for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic Winter Games, and secured the bid for the Olympics.