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Woori Bank confirms Sohn Tae-seung as CEO

Dec 23,2017
Sohn Tae-seung
Shareholders of Woori Bank approved Sohn Tae-seung to lead the bank on Friday, filling a leadership vacuum in the wake of a nepotism scandal.

Sohn vowed to address internal conflicts in the company during an inauguration ceremony to confirm his three-year term as president of Woori.

“I will place cooperation and healthy communication as the top priority,” Sohn said, “I will restore credibility from both our employees and clients by reforming promotion procedures and sales culture.”

Sohn’s predecessor, Lee Kwang-goo, resigned following allegations of nepotism in the bank’s hiring and infighting between executives. Some pointed to Woori’s historical background involving mergers of several banks as the reason for infighting.

The new chief executive already vowed to overhaul the recruitment process after his nomination earlier this month.

Sohn promised to reform the company’s promotion system to strictly focus on employees’ performance. Woori Bank has so far been following an internal rule to promote an equal number of employees from the now-defunct Hanil Bank and Commercial Bank of Korea, which merged in the late 1990s to form Woori.

Sohn also pledged to develop the bank into a more comprehensive financial group, with particular interest in buying an asset management firm.

The direction is in line with the bank’s plan to create a financial holding unit to control Woori’s financial affiliates.

Born in 1959 in Gwangju, South Jeolla, Sohn graduated from Sungkyunkwan University with a degree in law and started his career at Hanil Bank in 1987.

BY PARK EUN-JEE [park.eunjee@joongang.co.kr]