Steve Yang, Co-CEO or Hyundai Motors, has resigned due to personal reasons according to the automaker. His role will be filled by Kim Choong-ho and Kim Seung-tack who will tackle the roles of domestic and foreign sales, respectively.
Some analysts see the move as a way to raise Hyundai’s overseas sales and profile: “With overseas sales and production growing, Hyundai needs a control tower for its overseas business,” Ko Tae-bong, an analyst at HI Investment & Securities, told Reuters. With the macroeconomic uncertainty, it is also difficult for a single person to oversee both domestic and overseas business.”
Yang, who turns 58 in October, stepped down due to health issues and will take on an advisory role according to a Hyundai spokesperson. The automaker’s board will choose a new CEO later.
Yang’s role at Hyundai (and Kia) was mostly day-to-day operations since he took the job in 2009. In 2005 he helped the company gain record sales when he served as India’s sales head, according to the Reuters report.
Co-CEO and Chairman Chung Mong-koo is credited with much of the automaker’s success by raising quality standards through infusing the company with an iron-fisted, military-like culture. Hyundai shares have increased around 21 percent this year and the new Elantra and Sonata have taken market share from the class-leading Honda Civic and Toyota Camry in the U.S., respectively.