South Korea’s LG Chem Ltd. on Friday named Shin Hak-cheol, executive vice president of 3M, as its new chief executive - the first outside head in the company’s 71-year history when confirmed - in what is seen as a move to accelerate its global expansion and growth in new business sectors.
Shin will succeed Park Jin-soo, who has helped LG become a global leader in the chemical industry during his 42 years at the conglomerate.
Shin was the first Korean to manage 3M’s overseas operations as executive vice president. He joined the company’s Korean unit in 1984 and went on to become the head of the Philippines unit and executive vice president of the industrial business group at its U.S. headquarters.
LG Chem said they tapped Shin for his experience overseeing 3M’s global operations and his deep expertise in materials and chemicals. “We believe him to be capable of steering the company forward through these rapidly changing times and help bring innovation and change,” the company said.
Shin is given a mission to help further LG Chem’s push into new materials, batteries and biotechnology businesses that the company is focusing to groom as its main growth engines. He will also be tasked with broadening the company’s global outreach in its mainstay petrochemicals and stepping up marketing efforts in its battery business abroad.
LG Chem shares finished Friday down 2.24 percent at 327,500 won ($290).
By Lee Jae-cheol and Kim Hyo-jin
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