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Avikus seen as key for Hyundai Heavy heir to inherit group’s control

Avikus has emerged as one of the most important subsidiaries of Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) Group, as the company specializing in self-navigating technologies has been apparently used for CEO Chung Ki-sun of HD Hyundai, the group’s holding firm, to prove his management ability before inheriting control of the conglomerate from his father, Asan Foundation Chairman Chung Mong-joon, the largest shareholder of HD Hyundai, according to industry officials, Monday.

Earlier this month, Avikus recruited around 30 engineers, following its previous hiring of some 20 employees in March.
The company has continuously been reinforcing its workforce since its establishment in 2020, with the aim of increasing the number of employees to 70 by the end of this year from 40 at this moment. It has also been enlarging its office in southeastern Seoul since late last month.

Such an aggressive expansion has been considered to be backed by the HD Hyundai CEO.

Earlier this year, he introduced Avikus at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Along with HHI Group Chairman Kwon Oh-gap, the younger Chung even brought doughnuts recently to the employees at Avikus’ head office. He also had a dinner with the company’s young employees to encourage them.

“We started Avikus because we envisioned a more scalable company. No one in the heavy industry sector was up to the challenge so we wanted to pioneer this front,” Chung was quoted as saying by Avikus’ social media. “I believe in the importance of actions, not words. Avikus has proven its potential through its efforts and key achievements. We will support Avikus in all ways, so that its potential can be maximized and employees can realize their dreams.”

Industry officials expect the 40-year-old to try to dispel concerns about his abilities as an entrepreneur through the success of Avikus.

“He has a keen interest in Avikus, because he has nurtured the company since its beginning,” an industry official said.

At this moment, HHI Group is led by Chairman Kwon, while Korea Shipbuilding & Offshore Engineering Vice Chairman Ka Sam-hyun is in charge of managing the group’s shipbuilding subsidiaries. The HD Hyundai CEO is basically co-leading the group with the two professional managers.

Once the construction of the Global R&D Center in Pangyo, Seongnam, Gyeonggi Province, is completed by the end of this year, however, the HHI Group heir is likely to come to the fore, as he has directed the establishment of the center that will serve as the control tower for the group to develop new technologies. He is then expected to be promoted to vice chairman next year from president, tightening his grip on the group.
Source: The Korea Times

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