Appointment of’the first female outside director’…The change of hunger continues

Kia is holding the 77th regular shareholders' meeting at the main auditorium in Yangjae-dong, Seoul on the morning of the 22nd.  About 120 shareholders attended the site and passed various agenda items.  Source = Kia
Kia is holding the 77th regular shareholders’ meeting at the main auditorium in Yangjae-dong, Seoul on the morning of the 22nd. About 120 shareholders attended the site and passed various agenda items. Source = Kia

[이코노믹리뷰=최동훈 기자] Kia announced its will to be reborn as a mobility company through the general shareholders’ meeting. In addition, as part of a plan to reform the governance structure, the first female director was appointed in terms of business history.

On the morning of the 22nd, Kia held the 77th regular shareholders’ meeting at the main auditorium at its headquarters in Yangjae-dong, Seoul, and voted on such agenda items.

The Kia Shareholders’ Meeting, which was held for an hour and 45 minutes from 9 am on that day, was attended by CEO Song Ho-sung and other executives and employees, as well as 120 shareholders. The number of shares attending the shareholders’ meeting, including on-site visitors, is 326.6 million 4,038 shares, accounting for 81.5% of the stocks with voting rights. In response to the Corona 19 situation, Kia took measures such as fever check, hand sanitizer, and seat restrictions.

The agenda of the shareholders’ meeting on this day is largely divided into four categories: approval of financial statements for 2020, partial changes to the articles of incorporation, appointment of inside directors, outside directors, and audit committee members, and approval of the compensation limit for directors. Two members, including CEO Joon-Young Choi (Head of Management Support Division) and Han Cheol-soo, an advisor to Hwawoo Law Firm, have been reappointed as internal and external directors, respectively.

A new professor at Yonsei University Department of Political Science and Diplomacy was newly appointed as an outside director who also serves as an audit committee member. Professor Hwasun Hwa-soon, the first female outside director in Kia’s career, is also a full member of the Faculty of Policy at the Korean Academy of Science and Technology. It is analyzed as a person who has secured independence, such as having never worked for Hyundai Motor, the largest shareholder of Kia, and has not established a relative relationship with the head of the Hyundai Motor Group.

In addition, Kia made some changes to the articles of incorporation through a vote on the same day. As part of this, the company changed its name from Kia Motors to Kia, and decided not to form the board of directors only with directors of different genders for the purpose of strengthening the diversity of the board of directors. In addition, the existing Transparent Management Committee was expanded and reorganized into the Sustainability Management Committee in order to reinforce the management capabilities of each sector of the environment, society, and governance (ESG). In addition, the limit of remuneration for directors was set at 8 billion won, the same as last year, and the dividend at the end of 2020 was set at 1,000 won per common share.

Kia President Song Ho-sung attends and speaks at the 77th regular shareholders' meeting.  Source = Kia
Kia President Song Ho-sung attends and speaks at the 77th regular shareholders’ meeting. Source = Kia

Kia also specifically announced this year’s business plan at the shareholders’ meeting. Kia predicted that the global market will show a modest recovery since this year’s COVID-19 outbreak due to factors such as the base effect, recovery of economic sentiment, and maintenance of economic stimulus measures. On the other hand, it was analyzed that negative factors such as polarization in liquidity, the gap in economic recovery by country, and worsening of the trade conflict between the US and China also coexist. In the automobile industry, it is predicted that the non-face-to-face consumption trend will accelerate and the EV sales trend according to eco-friendly policies will also show a sharp rise.

Accordingly, the company plans to establish three strategic directions, such as transition to future business, customer-centered management, and strengthening of basic integrity, and to steadily proceed with the mid- to long-term future strategy, Plan S.

As part of the future business, the company plans to successfully launch the next-generation electric vehicle EV6 in July. In addition, it plans to actively target the purpose-based mobility (PBV) market using existing vehicles and expand the electric vehicle lineup.

As a customer-centered management plan, the company proposed contents such as innovating the internal operating system (process), preemptively responding to product safety and quality issues, and strengthening quality competitiveness.

In the field of strengthening the basics, we plan to stably secure future investment resources by increasing sales volume and achieving business plans in line with demand recovery. In Korea and major markets, the company plans to build an electric vehicle brand position, and in emerging countries, it plans to increase sales performance, focusing on internal combustion locomotive models, and actively expand the semi-assembled product (CKD) business in preparation for high tariffs. In addition, it plans to secure price competitiveness and profitability equal to that of an internal combustion locomotive by reinforcing profitability and reducing the cost of electric vehicles by realizing fixed cost reduction and productivity enhancement.

Kia President Song Ho-sung said, “Kia will transform itself into a brand that provides innovative mobility experiences to customers beyond manufacturing and selling vehicles. It will be a year.”