Inauguration of Ohjoon Kwon and Vision for ‘POSCO the Great’

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-Proposed departure from pride and appearances to return to ‘innovation POSCO 1.0’ roots

-Declared the 4 part innovation agenda that includes enhancement of steel competitiveness and financial structure to address crisis management

-Headed to steel plant immediately after inauguration ordering “world’s best products with competitive costs and quality”

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Pictured here: POSCO’s Chairman, Ohjoon Kwon giving his inauguration speech at the Pohang headquarters on March 14th

POSCO’s Chairman, Ohjoon Kwon has officially been inaugurated. On March 14, POSCO held its annual meeting of shareholders and board of directors to install Ohjoon Kwon as the 8th Chairman & CEO. Following the shareholders meeting, he attended an inauguration ceremony at the Pohang headquarters wearing a Steel plant uniform and stated, “Oversupply in the global steel market puts a significant risk to POSCO’s competitive advantage” and therefore, “We need to regain our steel competitiveness based on the differentiated technology and a financial and organizational structure reform  to once again become the world’s leading steel company.”

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Pictured here: POSCO’s Chairman, Ohjoon Kwon giving his inauguration speech at the Pohang headquarters on March 14th

At the inauguration, CEO Kwon unveiled the new vision ‘POSCO the Great’ and stated that to achieve this, the ‘innovation POSCO 1.0’ would be actively promoted. ‘POSCO the Great’ implies ‘Let’s create a great POSCO’ and signals that the company will continue to contribute to the national economic development and create values for the world in order to become the most respected company nationally as well as globally. Reflecting Chairman Kwon’s philosophy and volition, POSCO 1.0 proposes a departure from pride and appearances and a return back to basics to regain unity and be the forerunner again. The goal is to become the world’s best in all business divisions by creating customer value through new ideas and unifying all employees under one vision.  Chairman Kwon announced a four part innovation agenda in order to quickly overcome the current crisis situation and prepare for the next 50 years of POSCO.

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Pictured here: POSCO’s Chairman, Ohjoon  Kwon at the inauguration with ‘POSCO the Great’ and ‘innovation 4.0’ banners in the back ground

The first priority on the innovation agenda is to enhance the competitiveness of the steel industry. Its main focus is to create new, differentiating customer value through the combination of technology and marketing. The Company will create a Steel Solutions Center within the steel business division  to provide proactive response to customer needs and, also it will increase the sales of strategic products such as marine energy steel, high performance steel plates to cement its market position as a leading global steel company.

The second priority is to focus on the selection and concentration of plans that promote future growth. POSCO has been pushing ahead in materials, energy and other diverse new businesses, however going forward it will analyze business fit, core competencies, and market attractiveness to boldly determine whether to stop, sell or merge businesses for those businesses that are not globally competitive.  It will concentrate its growth energy in developing materials such as lithium and nickel that are essential for the future high-tech industry, as well as eco-friendly chemicals such as fuel cells and clean coal that are core of the clean energy business.

The third priority is to streamline the business structure and to dramatically improve the financial structure. For the time being, investment strategy will be focused on value-added growth rather than new investments for qualitative growth. Furthermore, at the appropriate time, it will list on the stock exchange certain subsidiaries that meet the IPO requirements or sell the equity holdings in order to maximize liquidity.

Finally, the management infrastructure will be reformed in areas such as internal organization, processes, and corporate culture . The current six divisions will be minimized to four for greater efficiency and to streamline decision-making hierarchy within the company. Furthermore, the number of executives in the supporting divisions will be reduced by 40% and transferred to marketing, steel mills, overseas offices and other divisions in order to boost performance. Especially, in order to promote strong performing organizational structure, individuals that hold expertise and experience will be appointed as expert executives and will be assigned to individual project with appropriate accountability and performance evaluations.

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Pictured here: POSCO’s Chairman Kwon shaking hands with employees on the day of his inauguration

Shortly after the inauguration, Chairman Kwon paid a visit to #3 steelmaking plant in Pohang and encouraged employees with an indication of his management priority in the job sites. Steel plant furnaces are the heart of steelmaking companies as the filtered impurities from molten metal are transformed into high quality, top grade steel. On this day, Chairman Kwon announced, “POSCO will continue to invest in innovation in order for Pohang and Gwangyang Steelworks to once again produce the world’s best products with competitive costs and quality.”

현장격려 Pictured here: POSCO’s Chairman, Ohjoon Kwon visited workers at #3 steelmaking plant in Pohang shortly after the inauguration to reassure employees that he would help make POSCO the world’s best

Earlier, at the annual meeting of shareholders and board of directors, candidate Jinil Kim was appointed as in-house director and president of steel manufacturing, and Dongjoon Yoon and Younghoon Lee were both appointed as vice president in-house directors. Moreover, Ilsup Kim, President of Seoul School of Integrated Sciences & Technologies, Youngsun Woo, Executive Partner at law firm Seah, and Donghyun Ahn, Professor of Economics at Seoul National University were appointed as outside directors. Ilsup Kim and  Youngsun Woo will also assume the responsibility over the Audit Committee members.

See below for the full inaugural speech that Chairman Kwon gave.

[box]Fellow colleagues,

Valued shareholders, customers, stakeholders,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am truly honored and thrilled to stand here today as the 8th CEO of POSCO. In my excitement, I also acknowledge the large responsibility I have to follow in the great success of POSCO’s past generations.

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