[THE INVESTOR] Woongjin Group on July 6 named Yoon Sae-bom, second son of Woongjin Group founder and Chairman Yoon Seok-keum, as head of the group’s new control tower office.
Before the latest appointment, the group’s two business pillars -- IT and rental businesses -- were controlled by two leaders -- Executive Director Lee Jae-jin and Vice President Shin Seung-chul, repectively.
Junior Yoon, as executive director, will lead the control tower office to oversee the group’s overall businesses.
Since joining the group in 2009, the 39-year-old worked at several affiliates, including Woongjin Thinkbig and Woongjin Chemical. Most recently, he was leading Woongjin Thinkbig, the publishing and education unit, since 2016. Early this year, he led the firm’s partnership with Silicon Valley-based startup Kidaptive to expand its presence in the global education tech market.
Industry sources say that with the latest appointment, Sae-bom is taking a step closer to becoming a second-generation leader of the family-controlled company, while his older brother Yoon Hyung-duk currently runs Woongjin’s cosmetics unit Woogjin TUTULUV and a rental business unit in Turkey.
Hyung-duk and Sae-bom own 12.51 percent and 12.48 percent stake in the group, respectively.
In Korea, elder sons are favored to take the helm of their father’s business empire. But the Woongjin chairman has hinted that he would hand over leadership to one who proves to be more qualified.
A Woongjin spokesperson, however, refused to relate the latest appointment to a possible leadership transfer to a new generation.
“We know there are speculations about the second son taking the helm. But the latest appointment has no direct relationship with the succession,” Yoon Chul-joong, a Woongjin official, told The Investor.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)