SK Hynix Appoints Park as Co-CEO Amid Chip Industry Challenges

SK Hynix Inc., the world’s second-largest maker of computer memory chips, appointed former Chief Technology Officer Park Sung Wook as its new co-chief executive officer from this month, replacing Kwon Oh Chul.

Park, who joined the chipmaker in 1984 and headed the research & development division, will lead Hynix alongside Chey Tae Won, the chairman of SK Holdings Co. Kwon, who’s three-year term expired, will serve as company adviser, the Icheon, South Korea-based company said in a statement yesterday.

The new appointment comes at a time when global chipmakers are reeling from falling demand for personal computers. Hynix, which last month reported better-than-expected fourth-quarter earnings, is also looking to diversify its business portfolio to more profitable mobile chips.

“The memory chip market is facing various inflection points, including an industrywide reshuffle” and preparation of the next-generation memory chips, Hynix said in the statement. “In order to rapidly address such technical change in the future, the industry requires technology leadership.”

Fourth-quarter net income was 163.7 billion won ($151 million), compared with a loss of 239.9 billion won a year earlier, Hynix reported Jan. 30. Profit beat the 120.2 billion-won average of analyst estimates as increased production of chips for Apple Inc. iPhones and other mobile devices helped offset waning demand for DRAM for PCs.

SK Telecom Co., South Korea’s largest mobile-phone carrier, bought control of the chipmaker in 2012.

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