As Chung Mong-koo, chairman of the Hyundai Motor Group stepped down as chairman of the board of directors, senior vice chairman Chung Eui-sun is expected to further solidify his position. Therefore, stronger winds of changes and reforms are expected to blow at the Hyundai Motor Group. But it remains to be seen whether or not vice chairman Chung Eui-sun will take office as chairman or a professional manager will be appointed as chairman at the general shareholders' meeting to be held in the middle of March.
Chung Mong-koo's resignation from Hyundai Motor's chairmanship means that Chung Eui-sun, the eldest son of Chung Mong-koo, will be able to beef up his management power at the Hyundai Motor Group, industry sources said on Feb. 19.
Chung Mong-koo's resignation means that he will be excluded from all business decisions to be made by the automotive group, whether official or unofficial. Therefore, regardless of who will be the chairman of the board of directors, vice chairman Chung Eui-sun will take the lead in the board of directors and officially act as head of the Hyundai Motor Group, many experts say.
Chung Eui-sun has been play the roles of the leader of the Hyundai Motor Group since being promoted to the senior vice chairman of the group in September 2018. Chung Eui-sun has attended major events both at home and abroad as a representative of the group and announced key policies that reflect the group's vision. On behalf of Chung Mong-koo, Chung Eui-sun is virtually exercising all managerial rights to the group.
In particular, since hedge fund Elliott left Hyundai in two years since beginning to interfere with the management of the Hyundai Motor Group, the Hyundai Motor Group is expected to gain momentum in restructuring its governance structure. Moreover, under the leadership of Chung Eui-sun, the Hyundai Motor Group is expected to invest in and push forward with its future businesses more actively.
Chung Eui-sun’s managerial performance received good reviews in 2019. Although domestic and overseas automotive markets shrank, the automotive group yielded results exceeding market expectations. Hyundai Motor’s sales reached 105,790 billion won, up 9.3 percent year on year and its operating profit arrived 3,680 billion won, up 52.1 percent, driven by strong sales of popular models like the Palisades. Kia Motors posted 57,146.0 trillion won in sales, a year on year increase of 7.3 percent, and 29.97 billion won in operating profit, up 73.6 percent from a year before.