Third largest conglomerate welcomes its 60th anniversary on April 8 as a new starting point
SK Group celebrated 60 years on April 8 since its late founder Chey Jong-gun started the Sunkyung Textile Co. in April 1953 when he was just 28 years old and barely three months before the end of the Korean War.
The anniversary ceremony took place at SK Academy in Yongin, Gyeonggi Province, led by Chairman Kim Chang-kun of the Supex Pursuance Council, the top decision-making body of the group, Chairman Chey Shin-won of SK Corp., and Vice Chairman Chey Jae-won of SK Co., along with family members of the late founder and his successor, the late chairman Chey Jong-hyun, as well as retired executives of the group.
The textile company that was set up in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province, had only 16 time-worn textile machines when the company was launched and has since become the mother company of the business group, which now includes a huge oil refinery and a telecom company among its affiliates.
Its the third largest conglomerate in Korea in terms of sales, with exports alone reaching $60 billion in 2012, boosting the group’ s total annual turnover to 158 trillion won and employing over 80,000 workers both at home and abroad.
Sunkyung Textile exported $46,000 worth of its textile products for the first time in 1962. Last year, SK Group’ s exports amounted to $60 billion, a jump of 600-fold in less than 40 years.
Three powerful leaders led the group in those years led by the late founder Chey Jong-gun, a debonair man who worked hard, his successor Jong-hyun, who earned a MA degree from the University of Wisconsin. While running the group, he engineered the takeover of Korea Oil Corp., the largest oil refiner in Korea, in 1980 to expand the group’ s business lines from textiles to oil refining. In 1994, the group took over Korea Mobile Communication for 427.1 billion won to further expand its business lines, later renaming the company SK Telecom, to join SK Innovation as a major affiliate of the group.
Jong-hyun’ s son Chey Tae-won took over the helm of the group from his late father in 1998 and continued to expand the group’ s business lines, taking over Hynix Semiconductor in 2011 and renaming it SK Hynix in order to add semiconductors to the group’ s businesses.
Chairman Chey, since his takeover of the management of the group, focused on the globalization of the group, focusing on natural resources exploration, engaging in oil drilling in a number of oil blocks that it took over in numerous countries around the world from the Middle East to Latin America through its affiliate SK Innovation.
SK innovation is actively participating in 29 blocks and four LNG projects in 16 countries and has proven reserves of 503 million barrels of oil equivalent as of the end of 2009. Among these, seven are production blocks in seven countries, and SK Innovation’ s equity share stands at 75,000 barrels of oil equivalent per day as of end of November 2010. In the CPO-4 and SSJN-5 blocks in Colombia and the Z-46 block in Peru, SK innovation is taking the lead in development and exploration as an E&P operator. Moreover, Peru LNG and #2 train of Yemen LNG launched production in 2010. In the Peru LNG project, SK Innovation has successfully completed the vertical integration of the business halfway around the world by participating in the whole LNG chain from block development to gas production, transportation, and exportation
SK Holdings is composed of various subsidiary and affiliate companies in the fields of energy, chemicals, IT, semiconductors, and logistics/services. Under the principle of responsible and transparent management, the group induces value maximization of each subsidiary by improving business competitiveness and management efficiency. At the same time, the group realizes its business philosophy of ‘Independent Yet Together’ by creating management synergy between each subsidiary.