(from left) New President Sung Sang-rok, New Senior Executive Vice President Chung Young-chul, New Senior Executive Vice President Park Soo-nam
(from left) New Senior Executive Vice President Yang Seung-wook, New Deputy Director Jang Woong-joon, New Executive Vice President Cho Mi-jin (Photos: Hyundai Motor Group)
Hundai Motor Group carried out a belated annual executive reshuffle on Feb. 6, promoting 348 people. The personnel changes, which were supposed to be done at year-end, came later due to the scandal involving Choi Soon-sil, a close friend of President Park Geun-hye, and a special counsel’s probe into the case.
The group promoted 348 executives, 20 fewer than last year’s 368 promotions; 176 of the promotions were in Hyundai Motor and Kia Motors and 172 were in Hyundai Mobis and other group subsidiaries.
The group’s executive promotions hit a record high after it took over Hyundai E&C in 2012. Promotions fell more than 15 percent in the previous year, and this year’s promotions are the lowest in six years since the group promoted 309 executives in 2011. Citing rising management uncertainties, Hyundai Motor Group decided to focus on substantial management to ramp up its fundamentals and reduce promotions by committing to merit-based promotions.
The latest promotions break down as such: one president; 11 senior executive vice presidents; 38 executive vice presidents; 62 vice presidents, 107 directors; 126 deputy directors; and three senior researchers.
The latest reshuffle is a tribute to the success of R&D and technology development manpower to secure the group’s future competitiveness in innovation.
Senior Executive Vice President Sung Sang-rok, Hyundai Engineering’s head of the Chemical Plant Engineer Business Division, has been promoted to president. He previously had stints at such positions as chemical plant engineering construction and orders and businesses. Sung is expected to take preemptive steps to cope with market changes, caused by crude oil hikes and lay the groundwork for continued growth.
Seven out of 11 promoted senior executive vice presidents come from the group’s R&D and technology divisions.
They include new Senior Executive Vice President Chung Young-chul of Hyundai Motor-Kia Motors Information Technology Division; new Senior Executive Vice President Park Soo-nam of Hyundai Motor-Kia Motors Products Strategy Division; and new Senior Executive Vice President Yang Seung-wook of Hyundai Mobis R&D Division.
Promotions from the R&D and technology divisions account for 40 percent of this year’s total promoted executives.
The latest personnel change is an example of the importance of the group’s R&D divisions in securing future technologies for eco-friendly cars and vehicle IT technologies.
In the latest reshuffle, the group appointed three new senior research councilors: Kong Byung-seok of Hyundai Motor-Kia Motors body technology segment, in charge of interior design for major models; Lee Hong-wook of the engine technology segment, an expert in gasoline engine technology; and Hong Bo-ki of the fuel cell technology segment, charged with fuel cell stack design, important in increasing mileage.
They can now devote themselves to their own study. In particular, new Deputy Director Jang Woong-joon of the Hyundai Motor-Kia Motors ADAS Development Office, 37, has become the youngest executive promoted in the latest reshuffle. Jang obtained a master’s degree and a doctorate from Seoul National University Electric Engineering Department and Stanford University Electric Engineering Department, respectively.
He had stints with the global consulting company McKinsey and Company and the venture capital Spark Capital. He founded the open source software developer Pinion Industry in 2013 and joined Hyundai Motor’s ADAS Development Team in May 2015, and was promoted to an executive less than two years after he entered the company. The latest reshuffle saw the number of women executives increase from 10 to 11, including new Executive Vice President Cho Mi-jin, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group Human Development Research Institute.