Koo Ja-hong, 75, Chairman of the LS Group

Koo Ja-hong was the member of the LG Group's Koo family that has had a drama-free leadership.

Koo Ja-hong, 75, Chairman of the LS Group

Photo: Koo Ja-hong.  Credit: LS Group.

Koo Ja-hong 구자홍, who led his own successful chaebol group that began as a spin-off from the LG Group, passed away on February 11.

The LS Group, which split from LG Group in 2004, was initially led by three of the four brothers of Koo In-hoe 구인회, the founder of LG Group. Focusing on B2B products like electrical parts, automobile components and metal casting, LS Group grew into the 15th largest chaebol group in South Korea with an annual revenue of KRW 30t (USD 25b).

Unlike other founding families of South Korea’s chaebol groups, the extended Koo family - which oversees the LG Group, LS Group and GS Group - is known for handling their affairs quietly and without drama.

The LG Group began in 1945, when Koo In-hoe began a business partnership with Heo Man-jeong 허만정, a relative of Koo’s wife. The partnership of Koo and Heo initially found success with “Lucky” 럭키 brand household items like toothpaste and detergents, then with the “Geumseong” 금성 brand home electronics like radio and television - the L and G of the LG Group.

Also in 2004, the second generations of the Koo family and the Heo family amicably divided the LG Group, with the Heo family taking the petroleum and logistics business to form the GS Group. The LS Group continued the tradition of drama-free management succession, as Koo Ja-hong’s younger cousin Koo Ja-eun took over the LS Group management last year.

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