A surprise visit to Yonsei… He shouted “wifi” when he couldn’t reach his sausage cup.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun visited Yonsei University in Sinchon, Seoul, to observe a debate lecture by business students. Mr. Chung was said to be a down-to-earth and unassuming figure, staying up late after class to chat with students.

Lecture on analyzing Hyundai Motor Company…Chung “surprised by their understanding”
According to Yonsei on Nov. 24, Chung made a surprise visit to a major class taught by Yonsei business professor Lee Mi-won. The lecture was followed by a 100-minute discussion between Chung and the students about Hyundai Motor Group’s innovation and vision.

The students raised questions and opinions on how Hyundai should respond to the upheaval in the ecosystem from internal combustion engines to electric vehicles, and the challenges of being an “ambidextrous organization” (an organization that simultaneously pursues both its main business and new businesses).

In particular, students expressed that Hyundai, which has been evaluated as a “military-style organization,” should change to a bottom-up decision-making structure and build a horizontal culture. The idea is that in order to seize opportunities in an era of uncertainty, it is necessary to build capabilities to prepare for various scenarios beyond just making quick and efficient decisions.

After listening to the students’ analysis with Kia President Song Ho-sung and Hyundai Motor Group Vice President Kim Heung-soo, Mr. Chung said, “I am surprised and grateful for their understanding of Hyundai Motor Group,” adding, “I think we should do better in the future.”

“At Hyundai Motor Group, we want to make everyone feel comfortable,” he said, adding, “If we do, many people will be able to engage in productive activities, and in the process, better ideas will emerge and the world will be more peaceful.” This is a reiteration of what the company has always emphasized as its essential mission: to contribute to the lives and happiness of humanity.

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun (front row, third from right)토토사이트 and Yonsei University Professor Lee Mi-won (front row, first from right) pose for a photo with students in a lecture hall at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of Business in Seoul on Nov. 11. [Courtesy of Yonsei University]

The class centered on “Hyundai Motor Group: From Fast Follower to Game Changer,” an in-depth analysis of Hyundai Motor Group and Chairman Chung’s vision and innovation. The book is a managerial study of Chairman Chung’s “visionary” leadership and Hyundai Motor Group, which has expanded beyond automobile manufacturing to include future mobility businesses such as electrification, hydrogen, robotics, artificial intelligence (AI), and future air mobility (AAM).

The book was co-authored by Prof. Lee with William Barnett, Distinguished Professor at Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and Kim Jae-gu, Professor of Management at Myongji University. In particular, Professor Lee has published three books on Hyundai Motor Group, starting with Hyundai’s entry into the United States in 2003 and ending with Hyundai’s entry into China in 2008.

Drinking until 10 p.m…’Wi-Fi’ shouted out
Participants agreed that the best part of the day was the ‘after party’. The mainstay was soybean paste and soju, and when Chung couldn’t clink glasses with students seated far away, they cheered when he said “wifi” (a neologism that refers to a situation where people raise their glasses and face each other as if they are receiving wifi) instead. One student said, “I had a prejudice against him because he is the chairman of a large company, but I was surprised by his youthfulness.”

Hyundai Motor Group Chairman Chung Eui-sun delivers a video congratulatory speech at Korea University’s graduation ceremony. [Hyundai Motor Group]

At the ceremony, Chung discussed issues such as the career and life direction of young people and deeply empathized with them. The ‘MZ generation’ was also a hot topic. As Chairman Chung carried a glass from table to table and talked casually, the students’ reactions were so enthusiastic that they stayed up until 10pm.

This is not the first time Jung has appeared at a university. Last year, Chung delivered the commencement address at his alma mater, Korea University (Business Administration ’89). Introducing the beliefs of the late Chairman Emeritus of Hyundai Group, Chung Ju-young, he called for a spirit of challenge, saying, “The most fatal mistake is to give up on challenges.”

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