Ourhome Vice Chairman Koo Bon-sung, left, will be replaced by his younger sister Koo Ji-eun after being ousted from the company’s top position. Photo courtesy of Ourhome, Kalisco

Vice Chairman Koo Bon-sung gets suspended jail term for road rage accident

From the perspective of Ourhome Vice Chairman Koo Bon-sung, this week couldn’t be worse _ After getting a suspended jail term, he was expelled from the company leadership by his own sister in two days.

Ourhome is the catering service devoted to LG Group, one of the country’s top conglomerates.

On June 3, the Seoul Central District Court sentenced Koo to a six-month prison term suspended for two years for causing a road rage accident and damaging a car in a fender bender in late 2020.

“Koo intentionally caused the incident and hurt the driver with his car. Then, he left without taking care of the victim. This is not a minor case,” the court said.

Yet, the Seoul court took into consideration the facts that Koo admitted his wrongdoings, and the victim does not want to punish him.

On Sept. 5, 2020, Koo was driving his BMW X5 on a three-lane road in Seoul, and a driver in his 40s cut off Koo by changing lanes all of a sudden.

Enraged, Koo passed ahead of the car and slammed the brakes to cause a collision. The victim blocked Koo’s car, saying that he called the police. But Koo hit the victim with his car and ran away.

Koo’s lawyer said that the 64-year-old Ourhome CEO apologized to the victim and reached a settlement. Koo also gave in a letter of apology to the court.

To add salt to injury, his youngest sister Koo Ji-eun ousted Koo Bon-sung at the company’s shareholders meeting on June 4.

Koo Bon-sung holds a 38.56 percent stake at Ourhome. His three sisters combine to have 59.55 percent. Koo Ji-eun, with 20.67 percent, will replace the departing CEO.

“It seems that Koo Ji-eun’s side took advantage of the road rage case to dismiss her brother as the proxy war took place just a day after the court ruling,” Leader’s Index CEO Park Ju-gun said.

“And two other sisters also appear to support Koo Ji-eun instead of Koo Bon-sung because of the court ruling.”

Koo Bon-sung took the helm of Ourhome, one of the largest food companies in Korea, in 2016. He is a cousin of former LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo, who passed away in 2018.

He studied economics at Northwestern University in the United States and global lenders such as Chase Manhattan Bank. He also worked for LG Electronics and Samsung C&T.