November 15, 2013 / 8:39 AM / 4 years ago

S. Korean steelmaker POSCO CEO resigns

SEOUL (Reuters) - South Korean steelmaker POSCO (005490.KS) said on Friday chief executive Chung Joon-yang is leaving, the second major management change in the country’s private sector in less than a month.

The move comes after months of media speculation that he may come under pressure to quit because a new government led by President Park Geun-hye took office in February.

KT Corp, South Korea’s biggest fixed-line operator, announced last week its CEO, Lee Suk-chae, was resigning after prosecutors raided its headquarters amid a widening corruption probe.

POSCO and KT Corp (030200.KS) have often seen CEOs quit before their terms expire when a new government takes office because the companies were once state-owned and the government retains a large amount of influence over their operations.

“Despite challenging business conditions, POSCO has reported strong performances, but I’ve decided to leave so that a new leadership can lead POSCO’s growth as a leading global company,” Chung said in a statement. He said that there has been no external pressure for him to leave.

    POSCO plans to form a CEO nomination committee, which will recommend a candidate at its shareholders meeting scheduled in March.

    Local media reports said Park’s election campaign aide, Kim Jong-in, and SK Innovation (096770.KS) CEO Koo Ja-young, who was a former managing director at POSCO, are among the potential candidates to succeed Chung.

    Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Matt Driskill

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