Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Mong-koo / Courtesy of Hyundai Motor

Father-to-son power transfer expected to speed up

Hyundai Motor said on February 19 that its board of directors decided not to reappoint Chairman Chung Mong-koo as an executive director of the country’s largest automaker.

The 81-year-old tycoon has chaired the Seoul-based company since 1999. His incumbent three-year term will expire on March 16.

Instead, Executive Vice Chairman Chung Eui-sun is widely expected to succeed him during the shareholders’ meeting midway through next month.

The younger Chung has been a de facto leader of the country’s second-largest conglomerate over the past two years.

He was promoted to become executive vice chairman in 2018, and last year, he took charge of the CEO roles at two flagship units of the group _ Hyundai Motor and Hyundai Mobis.

Chairman Chung did not take part in the management after his son practically assumed the stewardship.

Over the past two decades, Chairman Chung has vehemently waded into the global markets. As a result, the Hyundai Motor Group has become the world’s fifth-largest auto giant.

In recognition of his achievements, many global institutions gave awards to him. For one, he became the first Korean to be inducted to the U.S. Automotive Hall of Fame last week. It is the top honor in the industry.

By comparison, Executive Vice President Chung has tried to expand the business horizon of the group by making a foray into such businesses as autonomous driving, artificial intelligence, and future mobility.