Han Ye-kyung and Minu Kim
The year-end executive reshuffle at the country’s third largest conglomerate Hyundai Motor Group underscored the generational shift in leadership from 80-year-old chairman Chung Mong-koo to his 48-year-old son and vice chair Chung Eui-sun.
Stewards of the elder Chung stepped aside to make room for younger and overseas-trained recruits under younger Chung. Vice Chairman Kim Yong-hwan would move to steelmaking affiliate Hyundai Steel. Jeong Jin-haeng, president of Hyundai Motor, was made vice chair of Hyundai Engineering & Construction.
The shake-up where 17 top executives were reassigned across the group aims to drive internal innovation and enhance the group’s ability to respond to the change of the business environment in the future, the group said in a statement. It is also marked by the promotion of President Albert Biermann as the carmaker’s first foreign head of research and development.
Biermann started working at Hyundai-Kia’s Namyang Research Center as vice president in charge of testing and high-performance vehicles from 2015. Since he joined BMW in 1983 after studying at RWTH Aachen University in Germany, Biermann had been in charge of high-performance vehicle development.
Hyundai Motor chief innovation officer Chi Young-cho was promoted to president, showing the automaker’s push to become a smart mobility solution provider.