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Euisun Chung wins Hyundai Mobis board reappointment

Mar 19,2020
Hyundai Mobis shareholders voted to reappoint Euisun Chung as a director for another year.

Chung is the CEO of Hyundai Mobis, executive vice chairman and 2.35 percent owner of Hyundai Motor and a director at Kia Motors.

Hyundai Mobis is an auto parts maker that is 17.2 percent owned by Kia Motors and a 21.4 percent owner of Hyundai Motor.

The vote was done online as the coronavirus outbreak has forced major companies to explore or implement electronic alternatives.

Chung’s reappointment was challenged by six foreign pension funds. They voted “no” citing the lack of board independence and diversity and conflict of interest as a result of Chung’s involvement in related companies.

The pension funds voting against the reappointment were British Columbia Investment, Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, California Public Employees’ Retirement System, California State Teachers’ Retirement System, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan Board and Florida State Board of Administration.

During the annual general meeting, shareholders approved the reappointment of former Opel boss Karl-Thomas Neumann as an outside director for another three years.

The shareholders also approved the appointment of Jang Young-woo, who has worked as an auto research analyst at Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch and headed up the Seoul office of UBS. He will be an outside director responsible for protecting shareholder rights and interests.

After Elliott Management, a New York City-based investor, challenged the company over dividend plans and board member appointments in 2018, Hyundai Mobis has been working to gain market trust by bringing in outside directors and sharing more information with shareholders.

The fund’s attack forced Hyundai Motor Group to drop its planned restructuring, which would have made Chung the chairman of the group.

Elliott lost its battle in March last year, but the group has been working to make peace with shareholders by announcing higher dividends, share buy backs and the cancelation of shares over the next three years.

In January, Elliott completely cashed out of its holdings, selling its 2.9 percent of Hyundai Motor, 2.1 percent of Kia Motors and 2.6 percent of Hyundai Mobis.

Also during the general meeting, Hyundai Mobis shareholders voted to pay out dividends of 3,000 won ($2.4) per share and 3,050 won per preferred share.

Net profit at Hyundai Mobis rose 21.5 percent to 2.29 trillion won in 2019. Operating profit was up 16.5 percent to 2.36 trillion won, and sales rose 8.2 percent to 38.5 trillion won.

For this year, Hyundai Mobis plans to hit $2.73 billion in exports by targeting more premium auto brands, especially those in Europe. The company earns around 90 percent of its total auto parts sales from supplying components to Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]


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