LG Group president of South Korea dies of disease at 73

SEOUL (Reuters) – LG Group president Koo Bon-moo, who helped transform South Korea's fourth-largest conglomerate into a global brand, died Sunday after a battle with a brain disease.

LG Group president, Koo Bon-moo, appears in this undated picture provided by the LG Group on May 20, 2018. LG Group / Booklet through REUTERS

Koo, 73, was ill for one year, LG Group said in a prayer.

Koo had been battling a brain disease and had undergone surgery, said a group official who declined to be identified.

"Becoming the third LG president at the age of 50 in 1995, Koo established three key businesses: electronics, chemicals and telecommunications, led a global LG company and helped boost industrial competitiveness and the national economic development of South Korea. "LG said.

LG Group also established a holding company to simplify the ownership structure and begin the process of succession.

The powerful conglomerates managed by the country's family are implementing generational succession amid growing calls from the government and the public to improve transparency and corporate governance.

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LG Corp ( 003550.KS ), a holding company of the conglomerate, had said on Thursday that its former president was sick and planned to nominate its son to his board of directors in preparation for a succession of leadership.


Apparent heir Koo Kwang-mo belongs to the fourth generation of the LG Group's controlling family. He owns 6 percent of LG Corp and currently runs the information display unit of LG Electronics.

He joined the finance division of LG Electronics in 2006 and has been involved in various businesses such as home appliances, home entertainment and group strategy, LG said.

The late president adopted Koo in 2004 from his younger brother Koo Bon-neung after his only son died in a car accident.

The change in the rudder is not expected to be detrimental to the group's business, one badyst told Reuters.

"Although Koo pbaded away at a relatively early age, his son has already held a high-ranking position and I do not think there is a big change in the governance structure or strategic decisions," said Park Ju-gun, director of the corporate badysis firm CEO Score.

Under the leadership of Koo, the conglomerate changed its corporate brand to LG from Lucky Goldstar and sold the semiconductor business from LG to Hyundai, now SK Hynix Inc ( 000660.KS ), under restructuring led by the government. of the Asian financial crisis in the late 1990s.

The main affiliates are LG Electronics Inc ( 066570.KS ), manufacturer of displays LG Display ( 034220.KS ) and manufacturer of electric car batteries LG Chem ( ] 051910.KS ).

South Korean prosecutors said earlier this month that they raided the LG Group headquarters as part of an investigation into alleged tax evasion by family members who control the conglomerate.

The company said that Koo's funeral would be held in private with family members. Visitors, including Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee, have sent their condolences to their altar.

Reports by Jane Chung and Ju-min Park; Additional reports by Miyoung Kim and Jeongmin Kim; edition of Jacqueline Wong and Jason Neely


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