In marathon meeting, Koo urges innovation

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In marathon meeting, Koo urges innovation


LG Vice Chairman Koo Bon-Joon led a 20-hour strategy meeting for CEOs. [JOONGANG ILBO]

Koo Bon-Joon, vice chairman of LG Group, stressed the importance of “entrepreneurship” to executives of LG subsidiaries in a two-day meeting that wrapped up Thursday.

The younger brother of LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo presided over a marathon gathering for some 40 CEOs to discuss business strategies for the new year, a signal his role has advanced one step further within the nation’s fourth-largest conglomerate from his role as head of “new growth engines.”

After serving as vice chairman of LG Electronics since 2011, the top executive known for his charismatic leadership style assumed the vice chairman post to find new growth drivers - from automotive components to energy solutions - at LG Corp., the de facto holding company of the conglomerate. LG, amid faltering profit from smartphones and TVs, its key products, has been changing its focus to more future-oriented technologies in recent years.

“The internal and external business environment - in terms of competition, in particular - is turning ever more difficult,” he said. “If you remain stuck in the success and the method you used for it in the past and if you fail to innovate by yourself, it’s impossible to overcome the situation and attain sustainable growth.”

To improve competitiveness and profitability, Koo proposed that the subsidiaries come up with products with focus on research and development and manufacturing, the key pillar of LG’s business, and raise productivity. He also urged the executives to become leaders who are able to discover and resolve potential risks in the face of low growth and uncertainty.

“The activities to improve quality and entrepreneurship for challenging toward higher and bigger goals should be key tools for innovation,” he said.

The “global CEO strategy meeting” - an annual event at the beginning of the year - lasted for about 20 hours at LG Academy in Icheon, Gyeonggi on Wednesday and Thursday.

Celebrating the 70th anniversary this year, LG has set the theme for the meeting as “challenges and tasks for a company that lasts.”

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