How conglomerate chiefs plan to spend this Chuseok

20-Sep-2021 Intellasia | Korea Times | 5:02 AM Print This Post

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed how major conglomerate chiefs spend their Chuseok holidays; instead of inspecting overseas plants or visiting prospective businesses, most are spending the fall harvest moon holiday under the radar with their families.

According to the industry, Samsung Electronics vice Chair Lee Jae-yong, who has been making frequent overseas business trips following his release from prison last month, plans to stay at home for Chuseok.

The vice chair is known to have made frequent trips overseas during past Chuseok holidays. During Chuseok 2014, he went to the US, and right before he was sent to prison in January last year, he visited Brazil to inspect the local plants there. After last year’s Chuseok, he visited the ASML headquarters in the Netherlands, as well as stopping by Switzerland and Vietnam.

Lee has been busy inspecting key affiliates after his release from prison on August 13. The conglomerate announced plans to invest 240 trillion won in future growth just two weeks after his release.

But Lee is likely to stay in the country this year, as there have been some restrictions placed on the vice chair returning to work due to his conditional release from prison. Also, there has been strong opposition from civic groups about Lee returning to work.

Industry watchers believe he will utilise the holiday to review the selection of a 20 trillion won semiconductor foundry plant site in the US, while looking into possible M&A deals to fuel future growth.

Hyundai Motor Group Chair Chung Euisun is expected to focus on strategising future management while spending time with family during the upcoming holiday. Global carmakers have suffered chip shortages leading to production delays. Chair Chung is expected to inspect the chip shortage situation as well as local and overseas production and sales.

He will also inspect key future growth engines, including Hyundai Motor’s robo-taxi and urban air mobility (UAM) businesses

Hyundai has collaborated with Motional, a global leader in driverless technology, to supply fully autonomous robo-taxis by 2023.

At last year’s Las Vegas technology exhibition, Hyundai introduced the S-A1 UAM concept model which was under development. Hyundai aims to launch an all-electric UAM model optimised for intra-city operations by 2028.

Last week, Hyundai Motor vowed to go carbon-free by 2045, in an announcement made on the sidelines of this year’s IAA Mobility event in Germany.

SK Group Chair Chey Tae-won is expected to use the holiday to prepare for an annual seminar scheduled for next month, as well as to spend time with family.

Each year, the conglomerate has held the SK CEO seminar, with CEOs from key affiliates in attendance to inspect management performance and discuss business strategy for the following year.

LG Group Chair Koo Kwang-mo is expected to inspect the conglomerate’s key businesses, including electronics, batteries and chemicals, while spending some time at home.

Koo has been busy investing in startups and fostering future growth engines, including autonomous driving, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics.

Other conglomerate heads, such as POSCO Group Chair Choi Jeong-woo and Hanwha Group Chair Kim Seung-youn, are likely to spend a low-key Chuseok amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Most of the conglomerate chiefs are expected to stay at home, as there are no signs of the COVID-19 situation dying down, and most are expected to plan and strategise their key businesses quietly,” an industry source said.

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Category: Korea

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