Shareholders of Korean Air Lines Co. on Wednesday voted against the reappointment of the airline chief Cho Yang-ho as director of the board.
Seventy-four percent of shareholders attended an annual shareholders’ meeting held at the national flag carrier’s headquarters in western Seoul. A overwhelming 64 percent of them cast votes against Cho’s reappointment. The move marks the first time that shareholders have voted to remove the head of the company from his post.
The National Pension Service, the second-biggest shareholder in Korean Air, on Tuesday said it will vote against Cho’s reappointment as executive director for another three years.
The NPS cited Cho’s track record of “hurting the corporate value and rights of shareholders” as the reason for its decision.
The NPS is the world’s third-largest institutional investor, which manages 644 trillion won ($576 billion) in assets.
In July 2018, the NPS said it would adopt the stewardship code, a set of principles or guidelines aimed at getting institutional investors to actively engage in corporate governance to advance the interests of shareholders.
Cho has been accused of dodging inheritance tax and embezzling company funds. His wife has been accused of multiple assaults on employees and illegally hiring foreign housekeepers.
His two daughters also underwent probes by law enforcement last year on charges similar to those against their mother, including the eldest, Hyun-ah, who drew international attention for her “nut rage” incident in 2014.
Korean Air said that while Cho will retain his post as chairman, he won’t participate directly in the decision-making process on the board of directors. (Yonhap)