Meet Mr M&A from Korea. Park Jung-ho is vice president of SK Telecom and general manager and vice president of SK Hynix and SK Square. He also oversees all information and communication technology (ICT) activities of the SK Group conglomerate. Park is a veteran of the group, whose tenure of more than three decades has included stewardship of a host of different group companies. But he is known for one thing in particular: acquisitions.
Over the years, he led deals to buy Hynix, ADT Caps and Toshiba Memory, as well as internal mergers that shaped the group’s entire corporate structure. And, during an extraordinary eight-course meal at O’neul Restaurant in Seoul’s Itaewon district, he tells his story to foreign media for the first time.
Park will forever be linked with SK’s purchase of Hynix in 2011, but his history with SK Group begins much earlier, when he joined in 1989. From the start, he was a close affiliate of the chairman of SK, Chey Tae-won; the two rose in tandem. “At the start of my career with President Chey, I was 28, he was 31,” says Park. “We were still very young, but we thought we were mature at that point.”
Both showed an early keen interest in the possibilities of mobile telephony at a time when its evolution was unclear.