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HD Hyundai chair receives honorary doctorate from HUFS

May 19, 2024 - 15:40 By Park Se-ra
HD Hyundai Chairman Kwon Oh-gap speaks after receiving an honorary doctorate at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies in Seoul on Friday. (HD Hyundai)

HD Hyundai Chairman Kwon Oh-gap has been bestowed an honorary doctorate in business from Hankuk University of Foreign Studies, the company said Sunday.

HUFS conferred Kwon, an alumnus, for his contributions to the national economy by securing firm’s competitiveness, fulfilling social responsibilities, and fostering a culture of sharing.

Joining the firm in 1978, Kwon has led the shipbuilding giant to become a technology-driven, globally competitive heavy industry leader.

As the shipbuilding industry contracted in 2014, Kwon became president of Hyundai Heavy Industries, making the company profitable within two years through intensive reforms. In 2017, he transitioned the company into a holding company system, establishing transparent governance.

After becoming chairman of HD Hyundai in November 2019, Kwon laid out a business portfolio for sustainable expansion across three core sectors: shipbuilding, energy, and construction equipment. Under his leadership, HD Hyundai’s revenue grew to 61.33 trillion won ($45.28 billion), and operating profit reached 2.03 trillion won as of 2023. The company's market capitalization rose approximately fivefold from 10.1 trillion won at the end of 2014 to 50.1 trillion won as of May 10.

In acknowledgment of his contributions, Kwon received the Gold Tower Order of Industrial Service Merit at the 2023 Commerce & Industry Day ceremony.

Kwon has also been a pioneer in corporate social responsibility. In 2011, he launched the 1% Sharing Foundation, the first of its kind among major Korean corporations, where employees donate 1 percent of their wages. This initiative generates about 8 billion won a year for those in need. Recently, he established a relief fund to support bereaved families of shipyard industry accidents.

“Universities not only nurture leaders for the nation and society but also prepare youths to study diligently with others and engage in society. But most importantly, universities cultivate good citizens,” Kwon said at the degree conferral ceremony. “I am greatly honored to receive an honorary doctorate from my alma mater, HUFS. I will continue to contribute to the development of the national economy and social integration with duty and principles as a business leader.”