Lee  Won-gul
South Korea

Lee Won-gul

CEO Korea Electric Power Corporation

Date of Birth: 1959
Place of Birth: Busan

Born in Busan in 1959, Lee attended the prestigious Sungkyunkwan University, majoring in public administration. He joined the Ministry of Trade and Industry in 1978 and held posts in the aerospace, textile and industrial machinery divisions.

His time as director of Korea's organising committee of the 2002 World Cup will likely become a footnote in his career. The contest was notable for the persistent bickering between Korea and co-host Japan over proceeds, prices and mascot names, and will probably be the last time the Fédération Internationale de Football Association allows two countries to share hosting duties.

After the Cup, he could devote himself more fully to Korea's energy and resource policy. He had been Vice-Minister for Energy for two years when he became Chief Executive Officer at the state-owned KEPCO, Korea's largest power company, in April 2007.

With high fuel costs and unfavourable exchange rates, KEPCO is confronting the possibility of its first-ever loss. To offset uncertain supplies from China and Australia, KEPCO announced it would be tripling its coal imports from South Africa in 2008. Earlier that year, Lee told his executives to develop a long-term strategy to diversify into markets in the Middle East, Central Asia and Africa. That strategy seems to be coming into play, with the recent announcement of a US$450 million deal to build and operate the West African Power Pool's new power station and transmission system in Benin and Togo. Similar deals have recently been struck in Turkey, Kazakhstan and the Philippines.