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KT CEO seeks second term on upbeat sales

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Dec. 28, 2022 - 18:13

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KT Corp.'s CEO Ku Hyeon-mo (KT Corp.) KT Corp.'s CEO Ku Hyeon-mo (KT Corp.)

South Korean telecom giant KT Corp. said Wednesday it has appointed its incumbent CEO, Ku Hyeon-mo, as the final candidate to take the helm at the company.

The company’s CEO candidate review committee on the same day assessed whether Ku was eligible for a second three-year term. After conducting preferential reviews for seven times, the committee informed the company’s board of directors that Ku is qualified.

The KT CEO will be elected at the regular general meeting of shareholders in March.

The CEO candidate review committee gave Ku a positive evaluation based on his meaningful business performance. The 59-year-old led the company’s sales from the service sector to exceed 16 trillion won ($12.6 billion) for the first time and improved the corporate’s value as well.

He also helped boost the company’s shares by 90 percent as of end-November, compared to when he first took office in March 2020. Ku further made the company’s business transition successfully by rebranding itself with the tagline “Digico KT.”

Although the incumbent CEO was qualified to run unopposed for another term, he made an unexpected choice earlier this month by welcoming other candidates to compete with him in next year’s election for the company’s chief executive spot.

It was intended to satisfy the mobile carrier’s largest shareholder, the National Pension Service, which raised concerns recently over the governance structure of companies that lack controlling shareholders. In March, the NPS opposed the reappointment of former KT President Park Jong-wook as co-CEO, due to his alleged violation of the Political Funds Act.

Ku has a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Seoul National University and joined KT Corp. in 1987, upon graduation.