LG Chairman Koo Bon-moo Dies At 73, Successor Named

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LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo died Sunday morning, Seoul time, aged 73. The industry veteran had several brain surgeries in previous years and spent the majority of the last twelve months hospitalized, having opted not to be on life support, the South Korean tech giant said. Mr. Koo led the company for 23 years, having taken the reins in 1994, increasing its total annual revenues by over five times as of 2017 when LG posted the equivalent of $148 billion in sales. He took over LG from his father in 1995, being the third generation of his family to run the chaebol as the oldest grandson of the firm's co-founder Koo In-hwoi who established Lak Hui Chemical Industrial Corp. in 1947, with that unit growing into what's today known as LG Chem.

Mr. Koo will be succeeded by his adopted son, Koo Kwang-mo, who is presently awaiting shareholder approval after being nominated to the company's board last Thursday. The vote will take place on June 29 and is expected to see the 40-year-old's appointment approved with no issues seeing how his family still holds the largest stake — amounting to some 46.7 percentage points — in the enterprise. The late Mr. Koo was the executive who approved LG's move to adopt a holding company structure and be effectively split into four parts in 2003, with his net worth being estimated to amount to some $2.1 billion as of earlier this year. Today, LG is the fourth-largest chaebol in the Far Eastern country, being behind Samsung, Hyundai, and SK Group. The newly proposed leader has been with the company since 2006 and is presently leading its information displays unit.

The funeral that's set to take place later this week will not be public, an LG spokesperson said. The chaebol is presently enjoying decade-high profits across the board, with only its mobile division still struggling to be profitable, having lost over $125 million in the first three months of 2018. Its prospects may improve over the course of this year, with the newly announced G7 ThinQ flagship experiencing positive pre-sales performance in the company's home country.

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