Korea Electric CEO Kim to Resign Two Years Before End of Term

Korea Electric Power Corp. (015760) Chief Executive Officer Kim Joong Kyum will resign from the country’s monopoly power distributor today, two years before the end of his tenure.

Kim “will work as usual until today,” according to a text message from the Seoul-based utility, known as Kepco. The message didn’t give a reason for Kim’s departure and there will be no company event for him.

Kim, 62, the former president of Hyundai Engineering & Construction Co., followed his predecessor Kim Ssang Su, who also quit ahead of term, in moving from the private sector to run the state-run company. As Kepco’s CEO he sought government approval to pass rising fuel costs to customers since he took over on Sept. 17 last year. Kim, who was unsuccessful in his attempts, offered to resign earlier this month.

Kepco shares have advanced 25 percent since Kim took office, outperforming a 1.5 percent increase in Korea’s benchmark Kospi index. The stock rose 1.7 percent to 27,550 won as of 1:49 p.m. in Seoul.

The utility, 51 percent owned by the government, began a search for a new CEO on Nov. 10, according to a statement on the company’s website. A committee will shortlist candidates and President Lee Myung Bak will take a final decision. The company will hold a shareholder’s meeting on Dec. 17 to appoint a new CEO.

Possible candidates include Cho Hwan Eik, former vice commerce minister, and former Vice Knowledge Economy Minister Kim Young Hak, Digital Times reported yesterday, citing government officials it didn’t name.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sangim Han in Seoul at sihan@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Jason Rogers at jrogers73@bloomberg.net; Andrew Hobbs at ahobbs4@bloomberg.net

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