New KT chief vows to increase IT capabilities for future growth momentum

KT Corp.’s new chief said Thursday that he will do his best to build up the leading telecom operator’s future growth potential and energy by integrating information technology with its conventional telecommunications business in the future.

Kim Young-shub, former CEO of IT service provider LG CNS Co., was appointed as KT’s new CEO and took office late last month.

The company had suffered a monthslong leadership vacuum in the company since its former CEO Ku Hyeon-mo stepped down from the top job in March after failing to win shareholders’ approval for his second term. The state-run National Pension Service, the largest shareholder in KT, had refused to endorse subsequent CEO nominees and directors.

“I think, there will be wider business opportunities down the road once the telecommunications service is integrated with IT,” Kim said in a press conference in Seoul. “And there are many new business sectors that have emerged recently. I will help KT take the lead in combining our business with IT and expanding our capabilities.”

The new leader of South Korea’s No. 1 fixed-wire service and second-largest mobile carrier said it is necessary to accumulate equal IT capabilities in big tech-led areas like artificial intelligence and secure the initiative in emerging sectors like smart cities, metaverse and digital health care.

He noted it will take time to achieve this goal and he would focus on building capacity over the long term rather than delivering short-term results.

“If we upgrade our IT capabilities and energy step by step, we can raise our corporate value and secure our growth momentum as well,” he said. “Our shareholders and customers will recognize our effort.”

But he emphasized that there will be no large-scale restructuring, refuting rumors that he is considering a massive reshuffle later this year.

“I don’t think we’re in a situation where we need to do a massive, artificial restructuring,” he said. “I think now we are at a starting point to get rid of old problems and start together.”

KT has been diversifying its business portfolio to transform itself into a digital platform service provider from its traditional telecom identity.

It has earlier announced plans to post 5 trillion won (US$3.75 billion) in content sales by 2025, up from 4.2 trillion won tallied in 2022.

Its content production unit, KT Studio Genie, is spearheading the move as it created 12 original series last year, including the smash-hit legal drama “Extraordinary Attorney Woo” (2022).

Source: Yonhap News Agency