LG Group Patriarch Koo Bon-moo has been hospitalized and is reportedly in a critical condition, South Korean media reports.
Following the development, LG Corp, the parent company of the sprawling conglomerate, held an emergency board meeting early on Thursday and named his son Koo Kwang-mo as an inside director.
Due to his hospitalization, chairman Koo will be limited in his ability to perform board member duties, LG said, and therefore the company moved to discuss the need to name an additional member that is representative of shareholders.
It was part of its plan to "make provisions for succession," it added, which means Kwang-mo will almost certainly become chairman in the future. The heir joined LG in 2006 and is currently an executive at LG Electronics' B2B display unit.
The elder 73-year-old Koo had surgery to remove a brain tumor last year. He was receiving outpatient treatment and was hospitalized following worsening health.
His younger brother, vice chairman Koo Bon-joon, who led LG Electronics for many years, effectively managed the conglomerate in his stead. Bon-joon is a respected executive within the group -- he played a key role in building LG's dominance in display panels and feature phones -- and there was speculation that he is being pegged for succession. This latest announcement ends those speculations.
Kwang-mo is an adopted son; his biological father is another younger brother of the chairman. LG has a strict primogeniture succession culture. If named chairman latter, Kwang-mo will become the fourth generation boss of the conglomerate.
His great-grandfather Koo In-hwoi founded the company in 1953. His first born son, Koo Ja-kyung, became the second chairman in 1970. Ja-kyung, who is still alive, retired, and his first-born son Koo Bon-moo became chairman in 1995.
The vote meeting to make Kwang-mo insider director will take place June 29.
Compatriot Samsung named heir Lee Jae-young an insider director back in 2016 -- he is the current de factor boss of the conglomerate -- following the hospitalization of his father Lee Kun-hee as a result of a heart attack in 2014
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