Hyundai Motor Group makes annual reshuffle

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Hyundai Motor Group makes annual reshuffle

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Hyundai Motor Group, Korea’s top automaker and second-largest conglomerate, has promoted 11 executives to vice president, the company said Monday. Seven of the promotions were in research and development, suggesting a focus this year on developing new car technology.

The promotions are part of an annual reshuffle that usually takes place around December, but it was delayed this year after Hyundai Motor Group became ensnared in the political scandal surrounding President Park Geun-hye and her inner circle. Her confidante Choi Soon-sil is accused of taking donations from major Korean conglomerates in return for political favors.

The scandal, along with a less-than-stellar sales performance last year, led many to believe the automaker would trim its promotions by 15 percent from last year. In the end, Hyundai Motor Group promoted 348 executives, 5.4 percent less than last year.

There were 176 promotions at Hyundai Motor and sister company Kia Motors. Another 172 executives were promoted at its affiliates.

“This year’s reshuffle is aimed at realizing ‘substantial management’ and ‘taking an upper hand in the future’ as competition among global carmakers and business uncertainties will intensify,” a Hyundai Motor Group spokesman said.

Jang Woong-jun, who has been in charge of developing the company’s advanced driver assistance system, a key technology for self-driving cars, was promoted to director. At 37, he is the youngest executive in the cohort.

Sung Sang-rok was promoted from vice president to president of Hyundai Engineering and Construction, the group’s construction affiliate. He was the only executive promoted to a president-level post this year.

Three researchers were promoted to research fellow at the automaker’s independent research lab, which was established in 2009 to develop new car technology. Among the three is Hong Bo-ki, who has been in charge of developing technology related to fuel cell stacks, which measure the driving distance of fuel-cell electric vehicles.

Hyundai Motor Group also promoted four female executives, double the number last year. There are now 11 female executives in the group among over 1,000 executives.

Cho Mi-jin, who had been running a leadership development division, was promoted to vice president. The 54-year-old began her career in LG Display’s human resources department.


BY JIN EUN-SOO [jin.eunsoo@joongang.co.kr]

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