Reshuffling, moving on

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Reshuffling, moving on

Hanwha Group started to move forward without Chairman Kim Seung-youn as its emergency management council conducted an executive-level reshuffle to boost the autonomy and responsibility of affiliates.

The group said on Tuesday that 139 employees were promoted and began working in new positions yesterday. According to Hanwha officials, this is the first time the group’s chairman did not participate in an executive-level reshuffle.

Hanwha said its subsidiaries have been given more power and responsibility as seven CEOs from its affiliates have received a higher ranking within the group.

Hanwha L&C CEO Kim Chang-bum was promoted to president, while Hanwha Corp CEO Park Jae-hong, Hanwha 63 City CEO Lee Yul-guk and Hanwha City Development CEO Bong Hee-ryong went from senior managing director to vice presidents. The CEOs of Hanwha Energy, Dream Pharma and Hanwha TechM also moved up within the group.

While these CEOs earned more power, Shin Eun-chul, the vice chairman who heads Korea Life Insurance, will move to full-time adviser in June.

Hanwha, the nation’s 10th-largest conglomerate, has been trying to stabilize its business operations since Kim was arrested for embezzlement in August. The 61-year-old Kim was recently sentenced to three years in jail last month, but his imprisonment is suspended until next Tuesday due to deteriorating health. Kim’s attorney has asked the court to extend the suspension.

Because of Kim’s absence, the group said it faces difficulties winning additional orders from the Bismayah city project in Iraq after Hanwha E&C won an $8 billion deal there. Kim last year visited Iraq and discussed that country’s reconstruction with Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Kamil Al-Maliki.

To smooth the group’s operation, Hanwha last week launched an emergency council to decide important issues and the executive-level reshuffle apparently was its first move.

The council is led by veterans of the group and takes care of the group’s business in three sectors - finance, manufacturing and service.

Kim Yeon-bae, the vice chairman at Hanwha Investment & Securities, is head of the council while also taking charge of financial sector business. Hanwha Chemical CEO Hong Ki-joon oversees the group’s manufacturing sector and Hanwha Hotel & Resort CEO Hong Won-ki leads the group’s service sector.

By Joo Kyung-don []

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