South Korea’s LG Group chairman dies coming from illness at 73

The chairman of South Korea’s LG Group, Koo Bon-moo, instrumental to transforming the country’s fourth-largest conglomerate into a global brand, passed away on Sunday after a year-long battle with brain disease.

LG Group said in a statement Koo, 73, had been ill for a year.

A group official said Koo had been fighting a brain disease in addition to had undergone surgery. The official declined to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter.

“Becoming the third chairman of LG at the age of 50 in 1995, Koo established key three businesses – electronics, chemicals in addition to telecommunications – led a global company LG, in addition to contributed to driving (South Korea’s) industrial competitiveness in addition to national economic development,” LG said.

Under Koo’s leadership, the conglomerate changed its corporate brand to LG coming from Lucky Goldstar in addition to sold LG’s semiconductor business to Hyundai, at This particular point SK Hynix Inc, under government-led restructuring within the wake of the Asia financial crisis within the late 1990s.

Major affiliates are LG Electronics Inc, display maker LG Display in addition to electric car battery maker LG Chem.

Prior to its chairman’s death, LG Group had established a holding company in order to streamline ownership structure in addition to begin the process of succession.

The country’s powerful family-run conglomerates are implementing generational succession amid growing calls coming from the government in addition to public to improve transparency in addition to corporate governance.

LG Corp, a holding company of the electronics-to-chemicals conglomerate, said on Thursday its longtime chairman was unwell in addition to planned to nominate his son to its board of directors in preparation for a leadership succession.

Heir apparent Koo Kwang-mo will be coming from the fourth generation of LG Group’s controlling family. He owns 6 percent of LG Corp in addition to works as a senior official at LG Electronics.

The senior Koo’s younger brother, the group’s vice chairman Koo Bon-joon, who led LG Electronics for many years, effectively managed the conglomerate in his stead.

South Korean prosecutors said This particular month they raided LG Group’s head office as part of a probe into alleged tax evasion by family members controlling the conglomerate.

Analyst do not see a change at the helm being disruptive to the group’s business.

“Although Koo passed away at a relatively early age, his son has been already in a senior position in addition to I don’t think there will be a big change in governance structure or strategic decisions,” said Park Ju-gun, head of corporate analysis firm CEO Score.

The company said Koo’s funeral would likely be held privately at the request of the family.

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