Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, POSCO
POSCO, a former parastatal that was privatised in 2000, is the world’s third-largest steelmaker and a key supplier to South Korea’s lucrative shipbuilding and automotive industries. The company is worried about its supply chain, and Chung Joon-yang plans to double the group’s self-sufficiency to 50% by 2014. POSCO is on a global hunt for assets, funded by a US$627.4 million war chest.
Chung’s June 2010 visit to Mozambique, Zimbabwe and South Africa quickly yielded results. In Zimbabwe, where POSCO holds shares in the Revuboe coal mine, his meeting with President Robert Mugabe led to the joint venture with Anchor Holdings signed in late January for chrome and coal mining. POSCO is developing a coal mine in Tete, Mozambique, and cooperating with Brazilian rival Vale in planned infrastructure projects.
Chung returned to Africa from 25-30 January. He and Vice-Chairman Lee Dong-hee visited Cameroon, Congo-Kinshasa, Zimbabwe and Ethiopia. POSCO is in talks with Australia’s Sundance Resources to develop the Mbalam iron ore project in Cameroon for 2014 production.
Born in 1948, Chung is a career POSCO man with a strong technical background. He joined the company in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in trade and industrial education from Seoul National University. He has worked as an engineer at many of the company’s steelworks. From 1999 to 2003, he managed POSCO’s European office in Dusseldorf, Germany. He became Chief Operating Officer in 2007 and CEO of a subsidiary, POSCO Engineering and Construction, in 2008. When Lee Ku-taek stepped down in 2009 during an economic turndown, Chung was tapped as replacement. Chung’s strategy of aggressive acquisition has sometimes rattled shareholders.