Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors have promoted a number of younger executives who are expected to support the next generation leader at the South Korean group. Hyundai Motor promoted chief marketing officer Cho Won-hong to executive vice president. He was said to be handpicked by Chung Eui-sun, the group’s heir apparent Chung Eui-sun, people privy with the matter told Reuters.
Hyundai also promoted domestic public relations chief Kong Young-woon as executive vice president. Both Cho and Kong are 50 years old, making them second-youngest executive vice presidents at Hyundai. Kia, meanwhile, promoted Kim Gyun, 52, to executive vice president.
Chung Sun-sup, head of local research firm Chaebul.com, remarked that the focus on the management reshuffle at South Korean companies, should be on executive vice presidents, not CEOs, since they will be the ones who will support the next generation leader.
"The promotion of young executives should pave the way for the future of the junior Chung," Chung said. While there have been no indications that Hyundai Motor Group chairman Chung Mong-koo will step down soon, he is well expected to pass the baton to his only son and currently vice chairman, Eui-sun.
Lee Hang-koo, a senior researcher at the Korea Institute for Industrial Economics and Trade, remarked that carmakers are “injecting younger blood” to cope with “a paradigm shift and lead innovations."