The Korea Herald


KT CEO nominee to debut at global leadership conference next month

By Jie Ye-eun

Published : Aug. 25, 2023 - 14:57

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KT Corp.'s CEO nominee Kim Young-shub (Yonhap) KT Corp.'s CEO nominee Kim Young-shub (Yonhap)

South Korean telecommunications giant KT Corp.’s CEO nominee Kim Young-shub will take the stage as a keynote speaker at a global leadership conference organized by the UK-based mobile industry nonprofit GSMA next month. It will likely mark his first official schedule to step outside as KT’s new chief.

The KT CEO nominee will deliver a keynote speech at the Mobile 360 APAC, the Asia-Pacific leg of the event that is scheduled to take place for the first time in Seoul on Sept. 7 and 8, according to industry sources Friday.

The topic of his keynote speech is unknown, since his appearance will likely be announced by the GSMA sometime next week after he officially becomes the new leader of KT.

“The CEO nominee still has to go through the extraordinary shareholders meeting and win shareholders’ votes to take the top position. But he is known to be preparing to attend the global conference as the representative of the event’s co-host sponsor,” an industry source told The Korea Herald on condition of anonymity.

Kim will be appointed as the company’s new chief if he wins over 60 percent of votes at the shareholders meeting on Wednesday. Industry sources and market watchers predict that the former CEO of IT service provider LG CNS is highly likely to become KT's new chief, as the world's leading two proxy advisors ISS and Glass Lewis are in favor of the appointment.

The wireless carrier is co-hosting the upcoming event with South Korea's Science Ministry. However, the firm struggled to confirm a keynote speaker for the event due to a monthslong leadership vacuum until Kim was chosen as the new CEO nominee earlier this month.

Since KT is a board member of the GSMA, its former CEO Ku Hyeon-mo and former Chairman Hwang Chang-gyu previously delivered their keynote speeches at the Mobile World Congress, another annual flagship trade show hosted by the organization, in Barcelona, Spain.

Under the theme of “Leading a digital-first future,” the upcoming event will gather government and mobile industry leaders to define the strategy and policy for the next generation of digital nations.

Some other speakers from local industry players include Kim Woo-june, head of the network business at Samsung Electronics; Chae Seon-ju, president of ESG and a board member at Naver; BC Card CEO Choi Won-seok; and Korea Telecommunications Operators Association Vice Chairman Lee Sang-hak.