Kwon Known for ‘Hands-on’ Approach
Kwon Young-soo is not one of those corporate executives who prefers calling the shots from behind his desk.
The 53-year-old president and chief executive of LG Display, in fact, is rarely spotted at the company's headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul, but is more often seen touring the company's manufacturing plants in Paju, Gyeonggi Province, and Gumi, North Gyeongsang Province.
According to company officials, Kwon spends his Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Gumi plant, and Thursdays and Fridays at the Paju plant. He is not to be confused with the haughty-inspector type, company officials say, as Kwon makes an effort to be viewed as an approachable boss, eager to communicate with employees at every level.
Rather than seeking big announcements and attention-grabbing headlines, Kwon is a believer that innovation comes from the details, and details come from a hands-on knowledge of the factory work floor, according to company officials.
``Kwon always stresses that the answers are found at the site,'' said a LG Display official.
``During his weekly visits, Kwon tours without an assistant, and replaces simple office conversations with mobile-phone text messages. He takes pride in being a good listener, always trying to talk to as many employees as possible and get ideas from them.
``He also encourages employees to say `no' to him when they have to, and refuses to sit in a taller chair than everyone else in the meeting rooms.''
Kwon, who has been leading LG Display since 2007, is credited for his role in cementing the company's status as a liquid crystal display (LCD) giant, while improving its reputation as an innovator in technologies.
Prior to joining LG Display, Kwon served as the chief financial officer of LG Electronics. Prior to that, he acted as head of the globalization team at LG Electronics' Korean headquarters, and as a financial officer at the company's overseas subsidiary in New Jersey, United States.
Kwon holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from Seoul National University and a master's degree in industrial engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST).