Hyundai Co-CEO Steve Yang resigned for personal reasons

Article by Christian Andrei, on October 2, 2011

Personal reasons were cited for the resignation of Hyundai Motor Co-CEO Steve Yang. Hyundai's domestic and foreign sales chiefs have decided on a new structure where Yang’s role will be split. Analysts said that this move seeks to raise Hyundai’s overseas sales and profile even further. When Yang was CEO, Hyundai became one of the most imposing figures in the auto industry, threatening global automakers.

Even during the global financial crisis, Hyundai was able to widen its market share and increase sales. In this new set-up, Kim Choong-ho was promoted to head Hyundai's domestic business while Kim Seung-tack will be leading overseas business. Yang had previously led these two business units.

A Hyundai spokesman said that Hyundai's board will select a new CEO later. The spokesman said that Yang, who is 58 years old in October, resigned due to health issues. Yang will instead be getting an advisory role. He is primarily involved in the daily operations of Hyundai. He was one of three CEOs of Hyundai. The others are its chairman and founding family member, Chung Mong-koo, and the chief of Hyundai's production at its top plant.

Yang is famous for being a marketing guru and he achieved record sales in 2005 while he was India's sales head. Chairman Chung is mostly credited for Hyundai’s success. He is an iron-fisted chief who worked hard on raising standards and creating a disciplined, military-like culture at Hyundai.

Ko Tae-bong, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities, said that with overseas sales and production rising, Hyundai requires a “control tower” for its overseas business. He believes that it would be difficult for just one person to supervise both domestic and overseas business.

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