The Korea Herald


Former Posco Daewoo vice president to head state-run oil firm

By Son Ji-hyoung

Published : March 26, 2018 - 16:38

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The state-run Korea National Oil Corporation has tapped Yang Su-yeong as the new chief executive officer.

On Thursday, Yang began his three-year term until March 2021.

He was the favorite candidate of the two suggested early in March by a committee for public institutions management affiliated to the Ministry of Strategy and Finance. Yang gained presidential approval for the KNOC top post, following the Energy Minister’s recommendation of the candidates.

KNOC CEO Yang Su-yeong (KNOC) KNOC CEO Yang Su-yeong (KNOC)
Formerly a vice president of South Korea’s largest trading company Posco Daewoo, Yang is expected to play a crucial role in crafting KNOC’s exit strategy to deal with the public oil company’s lossmaking Canadian subsidiary Harvest Energy.

The KNOC in 2009 took over debt-saddled Harvest Energy in a $3.95 billion deal and its subsidiary North Atlantic Refining Limited. The former KNOC president Kang Young-won, who led the deal, is suspected of a breach of trust and is awaiting a ruling by the Supreme Court. The lower courts have freed Kang of the charges.

Citing Yang’s personal ties with Kang, KNOC labor union has opposed Yang’s presidency. The KNOC spokesperson said Yang is on course to reach a compromise with the labor union.

Yang was born in southeastern port city of Busan in 1957 and holds a Ph.D. in geophysics in Texas A&M University. Joining Posco Daewoo in 1996, then known as Daewoo International, Yang led a natural gas project in Shwe, Myanmar and headed Posco Daewoo’s resource development sector.

By Son Ji-hyoung