This week the Family Business Office, for its 28th edition of Focus On goes east bringing you South Korean world giant family business LG Group, headed by Koo Kwang Mo, fourth generation heir and chairman. Curiously, the introduction of Koo Kwang Mo into the family business is the result of unfortunate circumstances.
Koo Kwang-mo is in fact the adopted son of Koo Bon-moo, the former president of LG Group. Former Chairman Koo Bon-moo adopted Kwang-mo, who was his nephew, in 1994 after losing his only child in a traffic accident at the age of 19. Bon-moo tried to have another son, but his wife gave birth to a daughter in 1996 when he was 51 years old. The lack of a biological son prompted him to adopt Koo Kwang-mo in 2004. The process was not easy as it was time-consuming and comprehensive. LG checked every detail of all the candidates, and even a fortuneteller was involved in predicting whose future would be the brightest, according to a Korea News Plus report.
Kwang-mo’s biological father is Bon-neung, younger brother of the former CEO of LG Group. His great grandfather was the original founder of LG Group.
In 2019, at age 41, Koo Kwang-mo became the youngest chairman of a major Korean conglomerate.
Koo studied engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology and completed his master’s degree at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Koo Kwang-mo began his career within LG Group as an assistant manager in the Department of Finance. In a short time, he was promoted as Finance Manager at LG Electronics. In 2009, he was appointed Head of Home Entertainment Business for the group’s division in New Jersey (USA). He was subsequently promoted as deputy director of the department in 2011. He was promoted again in 2014 as director of the LG Synergy team. In 2017, Kwan-mo became the Managing Director of the Management Group Team of LG.
Following the death of Koo Bon-moo on May 20, 2018, Kwang-mo was elected CEO of LG Corp at the shareholders meeting held at LG Twin Towers in Seoul on June 29 of that year.
LG Group is one of four major conglomerates of South Korea. Included in its main subsidiaries are LG Electronics, a global giant in home appliances, and LG Chem, the country’s foremost chemical company.
LG has a family tradition of transferring managerial rights only to the eldest son, which is not the case for other conglomerates like Samsung. For example, Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee is the third son of founder Lee Byung-chul.
( All factual and statistical information presented in this blog has been obtained from an extract of articles found on koreanewsplus.com and Wikipedia biographies.com ) Follow us on our Facebook page and Family Business Office website at www.familybusiness.org.mt
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