KOREA: Herald Media chairman resigns

Herald Media seeks to separate ownership and management, as well as management and editorial direction

The Korea Herald
Tuesday, February 5, 2008

By Lee Joo-hee

Herald Media, the publisher of The Korea Herald and The Herald Business, yesterday announced a major management overhaul, aimed at further enhancing the efficiency and transparency of its operations.

The company said its largest shareholder, Hong Jung-wook, is resigning as chairman, chief executive officer and publisher.

A new CEO and a new publisher will be named soon, as the company seeks to operate on the basis of separation between ownership and management, as well as between management and editorial responsibility.

"With a split between ownership and management, and a fully independent editorial responsibility, Herald Media has cemented a foothold to develop a step further into becoming an advanced media group," Hong said in a statement.

Hong will remain the largest shareholder but he will stay out of management decisions.

A new leader will be selected among professional managers who share the vision of Herald Media, the company said.

"As Herald Media has secured a stable operational and profit structure in the past six years, I believe it is now ready to tackle more advanced challenges," Hong said.

Hong took over the company in December 2002. He has accomplished constant growth for five consecutive years and the company has been profitable for the past three years. In October 2007, Hong bought Dongah TV, a cable TV network, to establish the company as a comprehensive media group.

"I will relinquish the sumptuous status of a media CEO and will take part in the public and administrative sector and the social service, which I have long regarded to be my mission," he added.

The company said its vice president Key Wae-ho is also resigning to help the restructuring process.