Hanjin Group chairman Cho Won-tae has succeeded in extending his term as an executive director of Hanjin KAL, the group’s holding company.
Cho was supported by 56.67 percent of the shareholders at the general shareholders' meeting held on March 27. He faced a challenge from a three-party alliance consisting of Cho Hyun-ah, a former vice president of Korean Air and his elder sister, activist private equity fund KCGI, and Bando Engineering & Construction.
Cho successfully defended his managerial right. But he is facing another serious challenge, this time from the novel coronavirus. The aviation industry is struggling in a life-or-death crisis with most flights halted in the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak. Some analysts say that shareholders chose the current management of Hanjin KAL expecting it to overcome the growing crisis.
“Currently, the global pandemic is preventing Korean Air from flying more than 90 percent of its airplanes,” Cho said. The airline’s executives have decided to return up to 50 percent of their salaries beginning April until management normalization.
Cho said the group will sell off idle assets such as the previously announced site in Songhyeon-dong in Seoul and expand its capital in consultation with the board of directors.