Posco CEO Offers to Quit South Korea’s Biggest Steelmaker

Posco Chief Executive Officer Chung Joon Yang offered to step down from South Korea’s biggest steelmaker, saying the company needs new leadership to cope with “challenging business conditions” amid rising competition.

The 65-year-old CEO requested that the board appoint a successor at Posco’s annual shareholder meeting next March, the Pohang-based company said today in an e-mailed statement. His term had been scheduled to end in March 2015.

The steelmaker reported a slump in third-quarter profit last month and cut its 2013 sales forecast a second time. Posco, which sent its statement after the market closed today, has lost 6.5 percent in Seoul trading this year as slowing growth in China and recessions in Europe curbed steel demand, dragging down prices. Economic uncertainty will make global competition the “most severe” in 2013, Chung said in January.

Posco expects to select a CEO candidate at least two weeks before the shareholders’ meeting on March 14, according to the statement. Possible contenders include Daewoo International Corp. CEO Lee Dong Hee, Posco Chief Financial Officer Park Ki Hong and former Finance Minister Jin Nyum, Yonhap News reported, without citing anyone.

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