10 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Chey Tae-won’

Chey Tae-won, Chairman of SK Group, is a monumental figure in the South Korean business scene. His leadership has forged SK Group into South Korea’s third-largest conglomerate that boasts over 95 subsidiaries across various industries. Despite his prominence in the public eye, there are many unique aspects of Chey Tae-won’s life that are not widely known. This article uncovers the less-highlighted yet fascinating facts about this profound businessman.

1. Successful Tech Investor

Chey Tae-won has always shown a keen interest in technology. Under his stewardship, SK Group ventured into the tech industry with significant success.

In the late 90s and early 2000s, when many businesses feared to embrace the internet, Chey Tae-won viewed it as an opportunity. He played a key role in orchestrating SK Telecom’s buyout of Korea’s first internet portal, Nate.com, thereby consolidating SK’s dominance in the tech industry.

2. Early Interest in Business

Chey Tae-won was exposed to entrepreneurship at an early age. Growing up, he observed his father, Chey Jong-hyon’s astute business insights, which later influenced his business ventures.

His father was the founder of Sunkyoung Textiles, which later grew into SK Group. Chey Tae-won’s early exposure to the world of business and the process of decision-making molded him into the business leader he is today.

3. Overcame Legal Troubles

In 2003, Chey Tae-won was embroiled in a high-profile scandal where he was charged for illegally transferring corporate funds. The incident was a turning point in his illustrious career.

After serving a four-year jail sentence, Chey Tae-won returned to lead SK Group. His successful comeback highlighted his resilience and determination, qualities that he is now widely admired for.

4. Pioneer in Corporate Social Responsibility

Chey Tae-won has been a pioneer when it comes to corporate social responsibility (CSR) in South Korea. Under his leadership, SK Group adopted holistic CSR policies.

He launched the Happy Plus Fund, a program that supports underprivileged groups by creating business opportunities for them. This is a testament to Chey Tae-won’s firm belief in giving back to society.

5. Philanthropist

Chey Tae-won is also known for his magnanimous philanthropic gestures. He has donated substantial amounts to social causes throughout his career.

His recent donation of $200 million to Yale School of Management as part of the school’s socio-economic diversity initiative emphasized the benevolent side of this business magnate.

6. Leader in Renewable Energy

Chey Tae-won has led SK Group towards investing in renewable energy, committed to the vision of a sustainable future.

Under his visionary leadership, SK Group has invested heavily in environmental-friendly technologies, which complements his efforts towards creating a sustainable corporate ecosystem.

7. Love for Art

An avid art collector, Chey Tae-won’s personal interests lie in the field of Modern and Contemporary Art. This love for art goes beyond his private collection.

He has established several art centers promoting art and culture in South Korea. In 2012, he established the SK Museum, a public institution dedicated to Korean history and culture.

8. Reform-Oriented Leader

He is known for his reform-oriented business strategies. Despite leading one of the major chaebols in South Korea, Chey Tae-won promotes a transparent corporate culture.

His commitment to restructuring and reforms sets him apart from traditional business leaders and is often counted among the factors behind SK Group’s consistent growth and success.

9. Promoting Gender Equality

Chey Tae-won believes in gender equality and makes conscious efforts to promote women’s participation in the corporate world.

Under his leadership, SK Group has taken several initiatives to include more women in leadership roles and encourage a more balanced work environment by implementing family-friendly policies.

10. Believer in Globalism and Inclusive Growth

Chey Tae-won suggests globalism as a business philosophy. He believes in the importance of mutual growth between the business sector and society rather than profit-driven business endeavors.

He has made efforts to spread inclusive growth in the organization and its diverse business sectors, which has garnered much praise both at home and abroad.

In conclusion, Chey Tae-won’s leadership style exhibits a mix of resilience, vision for innovation, and belief in inclusive growth. His story is an inspiration for emerging business leaders and entrepreneurs looking to make an impact in diverse areas.

For more on Chey Tae-won:
Bloomberg Profile: Chey Tae-Won
Forbes Profile: Chey Tae-Won