Former Commerce Minister Nominated President of 2018 Pyeong Chang Winter Olympics

David Lee, May 4, 2016, 11:45 a.m.


Organizers of the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics on Wednesday formally nominated former Commerce Minister Lee Hee-beom as their new president. The PyeongChang Organizing Committee for the 2018 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games (POCOG) made the decision at its executive committee meeting in Seoul, a day after Lee was tapped to replace Hanjin Group Chairman Cho Yang-ho.

Cho abruptly resigned Tuesday to tend to pressing issues at Hanjin Shipping, one of the group's affiliates mired in debts. Lee will be officially elected at the POCOG's general congress at 11 a.m. on May 12. Lee will then need the final stamp of approval by the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism.

Lee, 67, began his career in government in 1972, and served as the commerce minister from 2003 to 2006. Outside the government, he has been the head of the Korea International Trade Association (2006-2009) and the Korea Employers Federation (2010-2014), two of the five major business lobby groups, and the chairman of STX Heavy Industries Co. and STX Energy Co. from 2009 to 2013. Lee is currently an advisor for LG International Corp. Until Lee's election, Yeo Hyung-koo, POCOG's secretary general, will act as the interim president.

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