SEOUL, Aug. 26 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korea’s major business groups prefer retired public officers as outside directors, data showed Wednesday, in a widespread practice to expand their network in the government.
According to corporate researcher CEO Score, 38.6 percent of 609 outside directors serving at 187 listed firms affiliated with the nation’s top 30 conglomerates had served in government organizations, including law enforcement agencies, tax offices and corporate watchdogs.
Among them, 186 were from the academic circle and 97 had business careers, it said.
Samsung Group, the nation’s top conglomerate, had 20 directors with careers in the public sector, while four came from the business circle.
Nearly half of board directors at Hyundai Motor Group had served in government agencies, with only three having worked for companies.
The high ratio of bureaucrat-turned-directors was in stark contrast to Fortune’s 100 best companies, which filled up three out of four board seats with business professionals. Ex-public officials were less than 10 percent of the total directors at American companies, followed by scholars and accountants.