It has been confirmed on the 8th that Vice Chairman Young-Soo Kwon visited Japan in the middle of last February to have meetings with a high-level executive of Panasonic. At this meeting, the industry assumes that more advanced discussions on the supply of large OLED panels for TVs had been exchanged. At that time, the official position of VC Kwon within the LG Group was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) and co-CEO of the holding company LG.
Not too long after the visit to Japan by VC Kwon, the news of the expansion of OLED TV sales in the TV market in Japan was actively released in Korea. According to internal research by LG Display, in the market of premium TVs priced over $2,000 in Japan, the share of OLED TV has increased from 1% in early 2016 to 69% in late 2018. An official from LG Display said, "Europe and Japan have been found to have the highest consumer acceptance of OLED TV in the TV market."
VC Kwon(62) is supporting CEO Gwang-Mo Goo (Chairman, 41) closely while taking omnidirectional actions for major issues of the critical subsidiaries within the LG Group. Immediately before VC Kwon moved to the mother company, LG, he proceeded with the acquisition of CJ Hello as a CEO of LG U+, which is waiting for the decision of the Fair Trade Commission of Korea and the Ministry of Science and ICT.
Within the LG Group, it is being accepted that VC Kwon is mentoring CEO Goo. VC Kwon’s extensive field experience gained from working as the CEO of LG U+, Batter Business Unit Head of LG Chem, CEO of LG Display, and Top Financial Manager of LG Electronics. An LG Group official said, “He is in the role of supporting the CEO.”
VC Kwon has been elected to be the Chairman of the Board of Directors of LG U+, LG Display, and LG Electronics by each company’s general shareholders’ meeting last month. The total sales of the LG Group in 2017 were 160 trillion won. The combined sales of the three companies for which VC Kwon is the Chairman of the Board of Directors are about 101 trillion won for the same year, accounting for 63% of the sales of the LG Group.
The ‘young leader and experienced supporter’ is not an uncommon picture. For example, Samsung Electronics, LG’s closest rival, had the combination of ‘Jae-Yong Lee (51)-Ji-Sung Choi (68)’, and there is a historic example of Sooryeomcheongjeong in the period of the monarchy. In terms of the decision making power and occasions, the chairman of a Chaebol is - in the modern era is often compared to the king during the monarchy era. The number of employees of LG at the end of 2017 was 210,000.
About VC Kwon’s past as CEO of LG Display, there are contrasting views about his performance based on the successful investment in the large OLED and the failure to invest in the small and medium-sized OLED in a timely manner. According to a display industry official, "The small and medium-sized OLED market has swiftly opened as Apple adopted it in the iPhone compared to the large-sized OLED TV market, which is being opened later than expected. This is hurtful to LG Display as they’re suffering from the sluggish mass production of small and medium-sized OLEDs.”
The adoption of Huawei equipment in the 5G communication network during the period when VC Kwon was the CEO of LG U + is viewed differently. Last year, VC Kwon said, "Huawei 5G equipment is the fastest and the performance is good" at the MWC Shanghai 2018 held in China. An official at the National Science and Technology Broadcasting and Communications Committee said, "LG U+ will not be able to avoid the backdoor issue in the future."
An official of the LG Group said, "We cannot confirm the movement of key management personnel."