Hyundai Merchant Marine (HMM) will start the process to appoint a new chief executive officer (CEO) when Hyundai Group loses control on Aug. 5, reports Korea Times quoting un-named industry sources.
The challenged shipper will begin a new chapter in its 40-year history, breaking free from Hyundai Group and becoming a subsidiary of Korea Development Bank (KDB).
KDB is bent on installing a new leadership at the shipping line and is open to hiring a foreign chief executive. To make a pool of candidates, the creditor reportedly appointed a number of executive search firms.
Last week, KDB Chairman Lee Dong-geol suggested standards for appointment, saying it will not exclude "people who have no relation with HMM" including foreign experts.
The KDB chairman emphasized performance above anything else in recruitment of the new CEO.
The remark sparked speculation that executives from Maersk or the Mediterranean Shipping Company may be chosen to head the company. The world's two largest container shippers are members of the 2M vessel-sharing alliance, which HMM managed to sign a preliminary deal to join last week.
The KDB is already suffering criticism for "unsuccessful" appointments at Daewoo Shipbuilding & Marine Engineering, as its selections parachuted into the shipbuilder failed to contain the company's debacle.
HMM’s current controlling shareholder Hyundai Group will see its 22.64 percent stake, held jointly by group chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun, Hyundai Elevator and Hyundai Global, reduced to 3.64 percent in a 7-to-1 capital reduction approved by shareholders Friday.