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S. Korean steelmaker POSCO CEO resigns

Joon Yang Chung, chairman and chief executive officer of POSCO steel, speaks during the Steel Success Strategies conference in New York, Jun
Joon Yang Chung, chairman and chief executive officer of POSCO steel, speaks during the Steel Success Strategies conference in New York, Jun

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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