The Korea Herald


[Obituary] LS Group chairman dies at age 75

By Kim Byung-wook

Published : Feb. 11, 2022 - 14:44

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Koo Ja-hong, the late chairman of LS Nikko Copper. (LS Group) Koo Ja-hong, the late chairman of LS Nikko Copper. (LS Group)

Koo Ja-hong, the chairman of LS Nikko Copper, died Friday at the age of 75.

The tycoon served as South Korean conglomerate LS Group’s first chairman for nine years from 2004 to 2012 and then handed over the post to his cousin Koo Ja-yeol. After the sudden death of the cousin in 2014, Koo Ja-hong returned to the management as the chairman of LS Nikko Copper.

The mogul is credited with the successful independent management of LS Group after it split off from LG Group in 2004. Also, Koo left a precedent of a peaceful transfer of management by voluntarily handing over his chairmanship to his cousin, a rare case among Korean conglomerates where disputes over management between family members are frequent.

Koo was born in Jinju, South Gyeongsang Province, in 1946 as the eldest son of Koo Tae-hoe, honorary chairman of LS Cable & System. Koo’s uncle is Koo In-hoe, the founder of LG Group.

After graduating from Princeton University with a bachelor’s degree in economics, Koo joined Bando Corp., the current LX International, in 1973, and led the LG Group’s overseas expansion in the early days. He assumed the CEO post of Goldstar, today’s LG Electronics, in 1991 and became the CEO of LG Electronics in 2002.