• May 26, 2024

Top KT&G Shareholder Opposes CEO Nominee

 Top KT&G Shareholder Opposes CEO Nominee
Photo: zzzdim

KT&G’s biggest shareholder is opposing the nomination of Bang Kyung-man as the cigarette manufacturer’s new CEO, reports Yonhap News. The Industrial Bank of Korea (IBK), which owns about 8 percent of KT&G, cited falling profitability and dubious business practices during the nominee’s tenure as a board member.

On Feb. 22, KT&G’s CEO candidate recommendation committee selected Kyung-man Bang, senior executive vice president of KT&G, as the final CEO candidate, citing his performance on criteria such as management expertise, global acumen, strategic thinking skills, stakeholder communications and universal morality and ethical awareness.

KT&G shareholders are due to vote on the nomination during the company’s annual general meeting on March 28. The appointment would mark KT&G’s first leadership change in nine years.

IBK opposes Bang’s nomination because “KT&G’s operating profit has fallen more than 20 percent” since he was appointed as vice president of the cigarette maker, an IBK official was quoted as saying.

“Given a decision to secure friendly shares using its own stocks, the independence and fairness of the current board of directors are bound to be seriously questioned,” the official said.

In a regulatory filing dated March 12, IBK also made a shareholder proposal to improve KT&G’s governance by strengthening the expertise and independence of the board of directors.

KT&G has faced pressure recently to be more transparent in its CEO selection process. In a video published ahead of the South Korean tobacco firm’s annual general meeting, KT&G shareholder Flashlight Capital Partners highlighted what it considered the problems during previous CEO nominations.

In January, the incumbent CEO, Baek Bok-in, said he would not seek reappointment.