Black Yak CEO gets abusive, physical at Gimpo

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Black Yak CEO gets abusive, physical at Gimpo

A Korean CEO running late for a flight smacked an airline employee with a newspaper and verbally abused him because he tried to stop him from barging onto the plane.

Kang Tae-sun, the 64-year-old president and CEO of Black Yak outdoor wear company and Dongjin Leisure, was running late for a 3:10 p.m. Asiana flight Friday from Gimpo International Airport to Yeosu, South Jeolla. Boarding had been completed and the gate was shut when Kang arrived. A subcontracted worker for Asiana tried to block Kang from going through the gate, telling him the plane was already departing.

In response, Kang allegedly used abusive words and smacked him with a newspaper. The worker reported the abuse to airport security but withdrew his complaint later after Kang apologized to him.

The incident was an echo of a similar incident in April, when an executive from Posco Energy sparked public outrage for smacking a flight attendant on the head with a magazine because he was unhappy with the in-flight ramen.

When news of that incident hit the Internet, the executive was so widely vilified that he ended up quitting Posco, the country’s largest steelmaker, and issuing a public apology.

Black Yak’s Kang issued a public apology yesterday, less than a day after media reported on the incident.

“I bow my head in apology for what has already been reported on the incident,” he said. “I will not excuse myself .?.?. I am again sorry for causing concern. With this incident in mind, I will work harder to making a contribution to society.”

Kang’s message from the CEO on the company’s Web page says Black Yak aims to become one of the top five global outdoor brands in 2013.

BY KANG JIN-KYU [jkkang2@joongang.co.kr]

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