Cha Hong Koo died Feb. 11, 2022. He was 76.
Cha Hong was the chairman of LS Group, a South Korean chaebol (conglomerate) between 2004 and 2012. He focused on entering new markets and mergers and acquisition and diversified the group’s businesses beyond electronics and metal to include energy.
Upon graduating from Princeton with a major in economics, he entered LG’s trading unit, now named LX International. He worked at the company’s overseas branches in Hong Kong and Singapore. Cha Hong played an integral role in creating a management succession philosophy that would help brothers or even cousins pass on business management responsibilities without major disputes between siblings or relatives.
He went on to serve as chairman of LS Nikko Copper until he died. At LS Nikko Copper, Cha Hong tried to foster a horizontal corporate culture to improve communication among workers at different levels. He designated specific dates for executives and young employees to come together and talk about different topics while having beers. He is known for leading a family-oriented life and often emphasized the importance of family to employees.
He is survived by his wife, a son, and a daughter. The Class of 1973 offers its condolences to the family.