KT Chairman Hwang Chang-kyu stepped down after completing his six-year term. Since taking office as chairman in January 2004, Hwang has served six years as chairman of KT since he won a second term in 2017. Starting next week, CEO-designate Koo Hyun-mo will lead KT.
Hwang, who also served as president of Samsung Electronics, has shown clear results over the past six years.
During Hwang's tenure, KT showed its potential by leading 5G mobile communications. In March 2015, Hwang presented the possibility of 5G in his keynote speech at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.
KT then introduced a pilot service through the 5G network for the first time in the world at the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics. In January 2019, Hwang attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, to explain how to commercialize 5G.
It also worked on AI business to secure new growth engines. Last year, KT declared its vision to become an "AI company" beyond telecommunications. Since then, KT has been pushing to diversify services such as AI hotels and AI customer centers at the same time as expanding AI speaker service sector.
KT, which had a strong nature as a state-run company by streamlining the size of its organization through restructuring, has also succeeded in changing its constitution to a private company.
Soon after his inauguration, Hwang cut 40 percent of his executives and retired 8,300 honorary employees despite fierce opposition from labor unions to make up for KT's poor performance. The number of affiliates also decreased from 56 to 50.
On the other hand, the fire at Ahyon Guk Temple's telecommunications district is considered the biggest stigma during Hwang's tenure. Hwang also was the first KT chairman to be indicted on charges of sponsoring company funds to 99 lawmakers since his privatization.
On March 30, Koo Hyun-mo will be officially appointed as KT's new CEO through a shareholders' meeting. Koo, who was named the head of KT in December last year, will become a CEO as a KT man who joined KT in 1987 and worked for 33 years.
Upon being nominated as the new CEO, Koo conducted the reorganization first. He is also speeding up his efforts to reform the company by abolishing regular recruitment for new employees after 33 years. Instead of regular recruitment of new employees, Koo said, "We will introduce a frequent internship system that determines whether to switch full-time employees after a six-week internship period."