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Final decision at the shareholders’ meeting at the end of March… Interest in exercising voting rights for the National Pension Service

Candidate Bang “We will strive to help KT&G leap forward as a global top-tier company.”

Kyeong-man Bang, Senior Vice President of KT&G

Kyeong-man Bang, Senior Vice President of KT&G

(Seoul = Larose.VIP) Reporter Kim Yun-gu and Shin Seon-mi = KT&G[033780] Bang Kyung-man (53), current senior vice president of KT&G, was selected as the next president candidate.

KT&G’s Presidential Candidate Recommendation Committee announced on the 22nd that it had decided on Senior Vice President Bang Kyung-man as the final candidate for the next president and recommended it to the board of directors.

This is the first time in 9 years that the president of KT&G has changed.

The appointment of the next CEO will be finally decided at the regular general shareholders’ meeting scheduled to be held at the end of March.

Senior Vice President Bang, who has been considered a strong candidate for the next president, is the head of KT&G’s general division and is one of two inside directors on the board of directors along with current president Baek Bok-in. He joined KT&G (Korea Tobacco and Ginseng Corporation at the time) in 1998 and gained experience in key areas of the company, including the head of the brand department, head of the global division, head of the strategic planning division, and head of the business division.

He is credited with contributing to the expansion of export countries by raising brand awareness of ESSE, an ultra-slim cigarette product, during his tenure as brand director.

Senior Vice President Bang graduated from the Department of Economics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies and received a master’s degree in business administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Based on his extensive experience and expertise across all business areas, including brand, marketing, global, and strategy, he plays a leading role in establishing a mid- to long-term growth strategy centered on the three core businesses, including electronic cigarettes, through the company’s growth investment and technological innovation, as well as a new shareholder return policy. He is in charge of and oversees the overall business as the head of the general division.

Previously, on the 16th, the Committee selected four people, including Senior Vice President Bang, as a second shortlist and conducted face-to-face in-depth interviews with these candidates on the same day to confirm the final candidates.

KT&G has been led by an insider for over 20 years since privatization, and this time too, an insider was selected as the final candidate for president.

As a result of verifying the five major competencies of each candidate, including ‘management expertise’, ‘global expertise’, ‘strategic thinking ability’, ‘stakeholder communication ability’, and ‘universal ethical awareness’, the committee found that candidate Bang Kyung-man had sufficient qualifications to be the next president. KT&G said that they agreed that he is the best person who possesses the capabilities and can clearly achieve the company’s future vision.

Regarding Candidate Bang, the committee said, “Based on his insight into the overall business, we judged him to be the best candidate to overcome market limitations and demonstrate his capabilities in helping KT&G leap forward as a global top-tier company.”

In particular, it was evaluated that the company not only secured brand competitiveness in the domestic market through excellent analysis and strategy establishment, but also achieved results in the global market, and not only improved corporate value, but also created results through differentiated strategies and strong execution.

In addition, the candidate’s capabilities and qualifications were objectively verified through a senior management development program for several years, and it was determined that the management ability and leadership demonstrated while serving as head of the general division were sufficient to promote corporate growth and become the leader of the group.

Kim Myeong-cheol, Chairman of the Presidential Candidate Recommendation Committee, said, “All members of the Presidential Candidate Recommendation Committee conducted the presidential candidate selection process fairly and transparently, focusing on providing equal opportunities to internal and external candidates without external interference, based on the core principles of transparency, fairness, and objectivity. “We agreed that CEO candidate Bang Kyung-man is the best candidate for enhancing shareholder value and corporate value,” he said.

Candidate Bang said, “I feel a great sense of responsibility for being selected as a candidate as the company is in a rapidly changing business environment,” and added, “I will lead innovation more proactively and seize future growth opportunities so that KT&G can leap forward as a global top-tier company.” “I will do my best,” he said.

After forming the governance committee on December 28 of last year, the KT&G board of directors is proceeding with the three-stage process of ‘Governance Structure Committee – President Candidate Recommendation Committee – General Shareholders’ Meeting Approval’.

President Baek Bok-in, who previously attracted attention over his bid for a fourth consecutive term, announced last month that he would not run for a second term after criticism that he was attempting a ‘self-reappointment’. President Baek became president in October 2015 and was reappointed in 2018 and 2021. The term of President Baek, the longest-serving president since KT&G’s privatization in 2002, ends in March.

Attention is focused on whether the National Pension Service will exercise its voting rights at KT&G’s regular general shareholders’ meeting to be held at the end of next month.

The National Pension Service put the brakes on the reappointment of KT CEO Koo Hyun-mo at the end of 2022, and also recently pointed out procedural issues in the process of selecting the next chairman of POSCO Group.

According to the financial investment industry, the activist fund ‘Flashlight Capital Partners’ (FCP), which owns about 1% of KT&G’s shares, previously sent a letter to the National Pension Service urging it to exercise its voting rights in the selection of KT&G’s CEO. The National Pension Service is KT&G’s second largest shareholder after IBK Industrial Bank of Korea (6.93%) and holds a 6.31% stake as of the end of September last year.

FCP is preparing a lawsuit, claiming that KT&G’s current and former executives caused nearly 1 trillion won in damage to minority shareholders in order to strengthen their management rights, and has also criticized KT&G’s president selection process.

KT&G’s consolidated sales last year were KRW 5.8724 trillion, an increase of 0.4% from the previous year, breaking an all-time high, but operating profit was provisionally calculated to be KRW 1.1679 trillion, a 7.9% decrease. Net profit decreased by 7.8% to 926.6 billion won.

ykim@yna.co.kr, sun@yna.co.kr

Report to KakaoTalk okjebo 2024/02/22 18:24 Sent

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