Amid scandal, Posco board extends tenure of chairman

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Amid scandal, Posco board extends tenure of chairman

Despite accusations that the chairman was involved in the so-called Choi Soon-sil scandal, board members of the country’s No.1 steelmaker have agreed to extend Posco’s chairman Kwon Oh-joon’s tenure, which is set to end in March.

Board members on Friday met at the company’s headquarters in Gangnam, southern Seoul, and said they would allow Kwon to continue in his role as the Korean steelmaker is undergoing restructuring and in need of securing future growth engines.

The board members, however, noted that they were satisfied with the reforms that Kwon has made since taking office three years ago and said it was only a half-success.

The Posco chairman has repeatedly expressed his interest in extending his tenure as chairman, arguing that the steelmaker recovered a 1 trillion won ($852 million) quarterly operating profit in four years largely thanks to his efforts.

However, the chairman still has to pass an evaluation by Posco’s six outside directors including lawyers, economists and scholars on whether he is eligible for a second term. The decision will be made by February.

Kwon is currently being investigated on whether he tried to strongarm a small ad agency that acquired Posco’s in-house ad agency Poreka to relinquish its shares to Cha Eun-taek, a former commercial and music video director, who has a strong relationship with President Park Geun-hye’s longtime friend and confidante Choi.

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