Kwon Stresses Stability
Looking to ride the surge of the global memory chip market, Kwon Oh-chul, the new head of the world's second-biggest memory chipmaker is looking to stabilize the company's finances.
Kwon, the chief executive of Hynix Semiconductor, comes from a background in financial management, not technology, and was picked by the company's creditors to right the ship.
Obviously, Kwon's most urgent task would be to find a new owner for the chipmaker, with the 21 percent stake owned by creditors now up for sale.
Kwon, who served as Hynix's chief financial officer under former chief Kim Jong-kap, seems to be on the right track.
By renewing focus on the company's main markets in DRAMs and NAND flash memory chips, two sectors that are both seeing a rebound in demand, Kwon plans to lower the company's debt to 6 trillion won from the current 7 trillion won by the end of the year.
Kwon is also predicting record sales for the Hynix this year, with the global demand in consumer electronics remaining healthy, which would no doubt make the company look tastier to potential suitors.
"My job is to improve the company's financial soundness. It could be said that we are just meeting 60 percent of what had been requested from our clients, and we need to improve on that. There is a need to refocus on our core businesses," Kwon said.
Kwon, who joined Hyundai Group in 1984, was a CFO when the company was embroiled with liquidity problems in 2001. He was a key man to help it strike a strategic partnership with ST Micro in NAND flash memory chips, which are used in high-end digital devices.
Kwon handled Hynix's investor relations team and was the top executive of its strategic planning office before taking the management helm.