For LG, R&D both a vision and tonic

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For LG, R&D both a vision and tonic

LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo is making R&D a top priority this month as he reviews subsidiaries’ long-term business plans, the conglomerate said yesterday.

Koo will consult with CEOs and other executives to be briefed on their visions for the future starting with LG Household and Health Care today. Strategy presentations will proceed at a pace of one subsidiary a day.

“This is a chance to evaluate what vision the group’s CEOs have,” said an official at LG Group. “Originally, the presentations centered on strategy, R&D and business development, but this year, the group has shifted fully to R&D at Koo’s bidding.”

“Some CEOs have told me that preparing for this is as tough as studying for a college aptitude test,” the official added. “But they agree that it is necessary given the speed of competition in the market.”

LG Display CEO Han Sang-beom has been focusing recently on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) technology for next-generation displays. He said he often talks to his researchers to check on the development process and visits China up to 10 days a month. The company is now building an LCD panel factory in Guangzhou, and he personally oversees the construction process.

“He gets briefed on the most detailed points, especially when it comes to technology R&D,” said a spokeperson at LG Display. “He is also contemplating how the company should position itself in the market.”

The group hopes the talks give LG Electronics a boost as the company has been struggling in the field of smartphones, in which it was a late starter.

“We think our R&D tech is getting close to that of our competitors, although there are still skeptics within our own ranks,” said the official. “These strategy presentations will help people drop such ideas.”

By Lee Sun-min, Lee Soo-ki []

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