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S. Korean CEOs getting older: report

Sept. 23, 2011 - 15:23 By

SEOUL, Sept. 23 (Yonhap) -- The average age of chief executive officers in South Korea rose slightly this year from one year ago, a report showed Friday.

But the average age of Samsung Group, South Korea's largest family-controlled industrial group and parent of Samsung Electronics Co., fell on the previous year, reflecting the conglomerates's trend of employing younger managers in top executive posts.

According to a report released by the Korea CXO Institute, CEOs at 1,000 local companies averaged 57.4-years-old this year, up 0.8 of a year compared to 2010.

The average age of CEOs at Samsung's affiliated companies, at 56.6, was down 1.2 years from a year earlier, the Seoul-based consultancy said.

Korea CXO said that Samsung will likely choose its chief executives from those born after 1955 as the company quickly becomes younger.

The pace will become more apparent once Lee Jae-yong, 44, grandson of the group's founder is tapped as CEO, it added. The only son of incumbent chairman Lee Kun-hee, the junior Lee is currently chief operating officer at Samsung Electronics.

The age of CEOs at LG group, the parent conglomerate of LG Electronics Inc. averaged 58.1, down 0.2 years from 2010.

Hyundai Motor Group's chief executive officers this year are 0.8 years older than last, with the average being 56.2, while ages for SK group edged up 0.3 years to 53.6-years-old, it said.

Nearly half of the CEOs surveyed were born in the 1950s and those born in the 1940s accounted for 25.1 percent, down 1.7 percentage points from one year ago.

Eighty four CEOs out of 1,000 were born in 1952 or in 1953, according to the consultancy's latest findings.