Kang Family Takes Firm Control Of Dong-a Pharmaceutical
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Kang Family Takes Firm Control Of Dong-a Pharmaceutical
Kang Jung-sok named to head Dong-a Socio Holdings as CEO under a holding company system as approved by shareholders

30(Tue), Apr, 2013

(Photos from left) President Kang Jung-sok of Donga Socio Holdings; Vice Chairman Kim Won-bae of Donga ST; 

President Park Chan-il of Donga ST; President Shin Dong-wook of Donga Pharmaceutical Co.; 

Vice President Lee Dong-hoon of Donga Socio Holdings.

Vice President Kang Jung-sok of Dong-a Pharmaceutical Co. has been officially promoted to take over as president of Dong-a Socio Holdings Co., completing the takeover of the management of the pharmaceutical concern by the third generation of the founder’s family in a major personnel shake up announced on March 4, the company said recently.

The new CEO is the fourth son of Dong-a Pharmaceutical Co. Chairman Kang Shin-ho, who took over from his father and founder of Dong-a Pharmaceutical, Kang Joong-hi.

Dong-a Socio Holdings will be the holding company of all Dong-a Pharmaceutical affiliates including Dong-a ST, special drugs maker, and Dong-a Pharmaceutical, which will continue to produce general pharmaceutical products. The two pharmaceutical firms held meetings of their boards of directors to elect the key executives including the CEOs. President Kim Won-bae of Dong-a Pharmaceutical Co. has been named to head Dong-a ST as vice chairman and co-CEO, leaving Kang to take control of the holding company, signaling the transfer of power of the business group from the founding generation to the third generation. 

The new boss at Dong-a Socio entered Dong-a Pharmaceutical in 2005 following graduation from Choongang University and came up through the ranks at the company and made vice president in 2007, emerging as the inheritor of the family fortune, nudging aside his elder brother Mun-sok, the second son of the Kang family.

Former Dong-a Pharmaceutical Vice President Park Chan-il has been named co-CEO of Dong-a ST, while Shin Dong-wook, former vice president at Dong-a Pharmaceu-tical has been promoted to president of the company. 

Dong-a pharmaceutical’s shareholders meeting in January approved the proposal to adopt the holding company system and the spin off of Dong-a ST before the personnel shake up that named CEOs and key executives of the new affiliates of Dong-a Socio Holdings.

New CEO Kang is expected to allocate huge investments totaling 300 billion won toward the development of new drugs by 2020 in order to explore a new era in the pharmaceutical industry in Korea. Kang is regarded as a gutsy person by many, known especially for his quick grasp of the character of the people he meets, a reflection of the Oriental philosophy he majored in at the university. He is also known to be gregarious and enjoy socializing, explaining his excellent achievements while working for the company’s marketing sector. He took charge of the R&D sector in 2010, taking advantage of his study of R&D subjects at the Sungkyunkwan University Graduate School.

An official in charge of R&D at Dong-a Socio said, “We will focus on the development of completely new drugs that no one has yet attempted to develop, getting away from ‘me too’ types of drug development whose medicinal effects are widely known.” The pharmaceutical group plans to reach around $1 billion in annual sales revenue by 2020 by selling its new drugs, among products. 

Now that the holding company system for the pharmaceutical group is completed, the Kang family has a clear path for remaining in control of the group, although its stake holding is not as dominant as it should be, including “friendly” stakes, coming only to 13.95 percent, though better compared to stakes held by rival drug maker Hanmi Pharmaceu-tical’s controlling family, whose total stake including friendly share holdings comes to around 12 percent. The second son, Mun-sok, attempted twice to wrest away the management rights of Dong-a Pharmaceutical with the support of Hanmi Pharmaceutical but failed, reports said. 

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