Automaker Hyundai will conduct a major reshuffle at the top, letting go of nearly one-third of older executives and filling only 25 percent of the posts with new ones.
Hyundai vice chairman Yoon Yeo-chul, who is in charge of labor relations, will step down, sources said Thursday. A close confidant of former chairman Chung Mong-koo who joined the automaker in 1979, Yoon is the last remaining executive from the old guard.
The recent election of a hardliner as head of the union raised speculation that Yoon would be retained, but it seems Hyundai is opting for a change instead.
Peter Schreyer, a former Audi designer, steps down as chief design officer at affiliate Kia, and Albert Biermann, a former BMW engineer who heads Hyundai’s performance division, will also be leaving.
Hyundai intends to overhaul the organization to support new chairman Chung Eui-sun, who officially succeeded the post in October last year. It already appointed Chung Jae-hoon, a confidant of Chung junior’s, as CEO and is expected to replace outgoing executives with younger people or women who will lead its next-generation business.
One source said, “Thirty percent of executives will be leaving, while 25 percent will be promoted, resulting in a five-percent downsizing of executives, the biggest reshuffle ever. The aim is to revamp the organization for the shift to electric and other eco-friendly cars.”
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