The Korea Herald


Hyundai Motor taps ex-presidential aide as global affairs executive

Auto giant looks to bolster global policy power with recruitment

By Kan Hyeong-woo

Published : May 30, 2023 - 15:28

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Kim Il-bum, former presidential secretary (Screen capture from Kim's social media account) Kim Il-bum, former presidential secretary (Screen capture from Kim's social media account)

Hyundai Motor Group has reportedly recruited Kim Il-bum, a former presidential secretary, to strengthen its global public affairs competency, according to sources on Tuesday.

Kim, who resigned from the presidential secretary position in March, is expected to begin working as an executive vice president at the auto giant in July. He is expected to help the company cope with challenging tasks amid a global supply chain crisis and bolster networks with foreign governments.

"We are aware that the recruitment process has been ongoing to increase our global external affairs competency and support (South Korea's) bid for hosting the World Expo in Busan," said a Hyundai official, declining to further elaborate.

Kim was President Yoon Suk Yeol's assistant for the foreign press when Yoon was a president-elect. He later was tapped as the chief of protocol.

Kim has assumed various diplomatic roles in the last 25 years after he passed the 33rd national foreign service exam in 1999.

He served as the director of the North American Division at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the first secretary at the South Korean embassy in Washington and the first secretary of the country's permanent mission to the United Nations. Kim was also the official interpreter for three former presidents -- Kim Dae-jung, Roh Moo-hyun and Lee Myung-bak.

Kim's previous experience working with a conglomerate was in 2019 as vice president of the SK Supex Council Global Growth Committee, the highest consultative body at the nation’s second-largest conglomerate SK Group.