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Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) promoted CEO Jae-sung LEE as new chairman

Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), the world's top-tier shipyard, said Thursday that it promoted Lee Jae-sung, from CEO to chairman.

This is part of a management reshuffle designed to defy concerns over corporate profitability amid the continued market downturn.

HHI said the promotion was mostly aimed at guaranteeing management independency.

The position became vacant after former chairman Min Kye-shik left the shipbuilder in December 2011.

President Kim Oe-hyun will be in charge of shipbuilding, marine and plant businesses. Kim Jeong-rae, will move to take charge of the firm's engine, electronics, green energy and construction equipment businesses, according to the statement.

"The reshuffle is aimed at increasing the agility of the company to react to change in markets and weather market downturns by introducing a responsible management system," an HHI official said.

The global shipbuilding industry is seeing signs of gradual improvement thanks to increasing orders from major ship-owners amid economic recovery in the United States and Europe.

But HHI officials say the time isn't ripe to expect imminent profit hikes in coming quarters because the market outlook remains negative.


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