Looking Back at
Decade of Rapid Growth
SK Group pushes globalization and doubles its annual sales in decade under Chmn. Chey
"Let's put our hearts out in the next 50 years,"Chairman Chey Tae-won of the SK Group said on Sept. 1, the 10th anniversary of his promotion to chairman following the passing of his father, the former chairman.
In a message to every officer and staff member of the group on the occasion, he said, "We have done all we could to make the group one that is respected in society, an enterprise that is the choice of the public and a business group that is fun to work for."He said that through these efforts, the group has been able to secure a firm financial foundation for future progress as well as a transparent and advanced governance structure through a management centered around the holding company system. The group also has been able to achieve its status as a conglomerate that fulfills its social responsibility through activities geared for social contributions.
The chairman continued that they have to secure future growth engines by realizing growth opportunities in various endeavors where the group enjoys advantages.
They also have to elevate the global presence of the group with each affiliate that jointly owns the SK Brand securing its own survival base and search for ways to develop together.
Officials of the group said a simple ceremony to mark the occasion took place at SK Energy's plant in Ulsan as requested by the chairman in consideration of the current economic difficulties.
The celebration took place at the Ulsan Lotte Hotel. The chairman toured the SK Energy petrochemical and chemical plants to encourage the workers after his visit to an exhibition tracing the records of the conglomerate's progress under the leadership of the chairman.
Attending the ceremony included SK Energy Vice Chairman Shin Heon-chul; President Park Young-ho of SK Corp; President Kim Shin-bae of SK Telecom; President Chung Man-won of SK Networks; and other current and former CEOs of group affiliates -- some 300 altogether.
Chairman Chey took over the helm of SK Group on Sept. 1, 1998 following the passing of his father, the former chairman. The new chairman, over the course of a decade of his stewardship, was able to reform the structure of the group in a sweeping manner so that it could endure the various challenges it faced and overcome them and secure a base for sustainable growth.
When he first took over the group, he was faced with choosing between deep change or the slow death of the group. He chose reform. At the time of the chairman's takeover, the group's revenues amounted to 37 trillion won annually, but jumped to 50 trillion won in 2002 and to 82 trillion won last year.
SK Energy, with Chairman Chey directly running it, has been able to change from a domestic company to a global one through its strong export drive. From 2004, the company has been able to boost its annual sales to over 1 trillion won and by 2006, half of its total revenues came from overseas.
SK Telecom, in the meantime, boosted its annual sales to over 10 trillion won last year from 2.6 trillion won when the chairman took over, securing its position as a leading telecom company in the country.
"Our competitors are abroad, not at home,"the chairman used to claim to push the globalization of the group. What he meant was that if a company cannot grow, it goes out of business and the new growth engines are overseas.
SK Energy is now engaged in operations in 16 foreign countries exploring natural resources. The company secured 5.1 billion barrels of crude oil through stakes in oil wells and secures half of its annual revenues from overseas.
The chairman feels that the company has advantages in such areas as energy, environment, and biotechnology and has been steering the company to find new growth engines in those areas under the direction of "environmentally-friendly and green growth."SK Group's annual exports totaled $8 billion in 2002, but has since grown to over $27 billion with prospects that it will continue to be on a high-growth trajectory. nw
(photo above): Chairman Chey Tae-won( in white shirt) of SK Group participated in a photo session with employees of SK Energy Ulsan refinery to mark his 10th anniversary as chairman of the group succeeding his deceased father on Sept. 1, 1998.
(photo below) Chairman Chey looks around the photos recalling his achievements in the past 10 years at a photo exhibit held on the occasion of the anniversary at SK Energy Ulsan oil refinery.