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POSCO Holdings Confirms In-hwa Chang as Candidate for Next CEO


Former President of POSCO, In-hwa Chang, Chosen as Next CEO Candidate in Temporary Board Meeting; Decision Scheduled for March 21 Shareholders’ Meeting.

CEO Candidate Recommendation Committee “Chang is Equipped to Navigate Future Challenges with Deep Understanding of Core Businesses and a Clear Vision.”

POSCO Holdings has confirmed In-hwa Chang, former President of POSCO, as the candidate for the next CEO of POSCO Group.

On February 8, POSCO Holdings held a temporary board meeting to select In-hwa Chang, the former President of POSCO, as the candidate for an inside director, nominating him for the position of CEO of POSCO Group at the upcoming regular shareholders’ meeting in March. The former President Chang is scheduled to officially assume the position of CEO of POSCO Group following the regular shareholders’ meeting and the board meeting on March 21.

The CEO Candidate Recommendation Committee (Chairman: Heui-jae Park, Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace at Seoul National University, hereinafter referred to as “the Committee”) conducted in-depth face-to-face interviews with six ‘finalist’ candidates on February 7 and 8, recommending the final candidate for nomination to the temporary board. The Committee assessed In-hwa Chang as the most suitable candidate who possesses the ability to meticulously prepare for and boldly address future challenges, has a clear problem awareness regarding the group’s core businesses and areas for improvement, and can realize a future vision. Furthermore, the Committee expects that Chang will significantly contribute to leading technology-centered innovation and improving the organization’s culture within the group, along with devising global strategies.

Previously, according to the “POSCO-type New Governance Structure Improvement Plan” resolved by the board on December 19 of last year, POSCO Holdings established a “CEO Candidate Recommendation Committee” three months before the expiration of the current CEO’s term to appoint the next CEO. Subsequently, the Committee, composed entirely of external directors, has been profoundly discussing the discovery of a candidate pool for the next CEO to lead the future of POSCO Group through over 30 meetings and roundtable discussions over the past 50 days.

The Committee announced the basic qualification requirements for candidates, including management capacity, industry expertise, global competency, leadership, and integrity/ethics, along with detailed criteria and future schedules at its first meeting on December 21, 2023. Notably, at the third meeting on December 29, 2023, for the first time in the CEO appointment process, ten search firms were disclosed, allowing anyone interested in participating in the appointment process to apply through one of the firms, thereby enhancing the openness, fairness, and effectiveness of the external candidate selection process.

Following the sixth meeting on January 17, an internal/external longlist of 18 individuals was finalized. The governance improvement plan requested evaluation opinions from the newly established “CEO Candidate Recommendation Advisory Panel (five external experts).” At the seventh meeting on January 24, the Committee finalized an internal/external shortlist of 12 individuals after conducting additional evaluations that maximally reflected the opinions of the advisory panel. At the eighth meeting on January 31, the six names of the finalists were disclosed, focusing on “expertise and leadership capabilities for future leaps and changes.”

In-hwa Chang, former President, is a top expert in the steel and new business sectors, having earned a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree in Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering from Seoul National University and a Ph.D. in Ocean Engineering from MIT in the United States. Since joining the Research Institute of Industrial Science & Technology (RIST) in 1988, he has held several key positions, including Director of the RIST Steel Structure Research Institute, Head of POSCO’s New Business Department, Steel Marketing Solution Department, Chief Technology Investment Officer, Director of the Technical Research Laboratories, and Head of Steel Production Division. In 2018, as the Head of POSCO’s Steel Division (President and Representative Director), acting as a business holding company, he significantly contributed to setting the future direction by utilizing his experiences in the overall group business, including new business, marketing, and construction of overseas steel networks.

Additionally, in labor relations, he was evaluated as a considerate leader who encompasses his members with a kind and ample nature, demonstrating conciliatory leadership with his unique affability and field-oriented actions as a representative of the employer’s side. Maintaining a sense of management issues as a POSCO advisor since the shareholders’ meeting in 2021 is also a strength.

Especially during his tenure at POSCO, he led the establishment of a smart factory system at the steelworks using new AI technology, driving the selection of the company as the first domestic enterprise to be recognized as a ‘Lighthouse Factory’ by the World Economic Forum, thereby strengthening the competitiveness of the group’s core steel business. In the new business sector, he contributed to laying the foundation for the group’s new business centered on secondary battery materials and raw materials by restructuring through selection and concentration, focusing on positive and negative electrode materials, including lithium.

Heui-jae Park, Chairman of the Committee, stated, “The Committee believes that candidate In-hwa Chang is fully capable of enhancing the global future competitiveness of the steel business sector in response to the low-carbon era and the intrinsic competitiveness of the new business sector.” Regarding the selection process for the next CEO of POSCO Group, Chairman Park emphasized, “Transparency, fairness, and objectivity are of utmost importance. All members of the Committee were united in this belief and devoted their utmost effort to independently perform their responsibilities without external interference.” Chairman Park added, “We are grateful for the interest and support from all internal and external stakeholders, including shareholders and employees.”


▲POSCO Holdings Confirms In-hwa Chang as Candidate for Next CEO


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