LG chairman tours Kintex, rallies staff

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LG chairman tours Kintex, rallies staff

LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo visited an exhibition of the company’s electronic products at Kintex on Friday, the group said yesterday, after the chairman called on his employees to brace for a year of critical challenges.

The 68-year-old chairman checked the products of LG Electronics at the exhibition center located in Ilsan, northwest of Seoul, the group said. The exhibition features new products, many of which will be showcased during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week. They include a 105-inch, curved Ultra High-Definition TV, which the company claims is the world’s first. Samsung Electronics is planning to exhibit a similar product at the 2014 CES.

Also exhibited in Ilsan are a 77-inch curved Organic Light-Emitting Diode (OLED) TV and a Tab-Book, a hybrid of a laptop and a tablet. A total of 100 LG Electronics products are being exhibited at Kintex.

In his New Year message on Thursday, Koo, who runs the country’s fourth-largest conglomerate, stressed the company’s need for a sense of crisis, reminiscent of the signature business philosophy of Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of LG rival Samsung Electronics.

On the mobile phone front, LG trails far behind Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone vendor, and the gap is seen as widening further: LG’s mobile phone business suffered an operating loss of 79.7 billion won ($75.5 million) in the third quarter, and it lost the title of the world’s third-largest smartphone seller to Huawei of China.

LG has had decent sales. According to Strategy Analytics, LG Electronics already sold 34.4 million smartphones in the first three quarters of last year, compared with 26 million in 2012.

BY MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]

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