April 18, 2018 / 3:48 AM / a year ago

CEO of South Korean steelmaker POSCO to step down early

People walk past a POSCO logo at the company's headquarters in Seoul August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Jo Yong-Hak/File Photo

SEOUL (Reuters) - The chief executive of South Korean steelmaker POSCO will step down before his term ends in 2020 as he is keen for a younger person to lead the firm, the company said on Wednesday.

Kwon Oh-joon, 69, offered his resignation at an emergency board meeting, but will stay in the post until the company appoints a new chief, a spokesman said.

Kwon took over as CEO of the country’s top steelmaker in March 2014. He was re-appointed in March last year, and his term was set to end in March 2020.

POSCO in January reported a 144 percent surge in fourth-quarter operating profit, helped by steel price gains, but fell short of market estimates as higher raw material costs cut into earnings.

The spokesman denied any link between Kwon’s resignation offer and a change of government last May.

POSCO was privatized in 2000, but chief executives have previously been replaced when a new administration takes office, local media reported.

Reporting by Jane Chung and Hyunjoo Jin; Additional reporting by Dahee Kim; Editing by Richard Pullin

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