July 14, 2024

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“For sustainable growth, KT will be reborn as an ‘AICT company’ beyond the limits of a telecommunica..

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KT CEO Kim Young-seop is holding the 42nd regular shareholders’ meeting. [Photo source = KT]

“For sustainable growth, KT will be reborn as an ‘AICT company’ beyond the limits of a telecommunications company.”

Kim Young-seop, CEO of KT, made the remarks in a greeting at the 42nd regular shareholders’ meeting held at the KT R&D Center in Seocho-gu, Seoul on the 28th. AICT is a concept that combines AI (artificial intelligence) and information and communication technology (ICT), meaning ‘artificial intelligence communication technology’. It is KT’s future business direction and identity that CEO Kim has emphasized since taking office.

CEO Kim officially expressed his strong will to shareholders to innovate AI and information and communication as he took the stand as chairman at his first regular shareholders’ meeting since taking office.

“KT established an advanced governance structure last year using the management crisis as a blessing in disguise, and proved its potential with stable business operations and solid performance,” CEO Kim said. “A company without innovation cannot grow and will never see much fruit if it does not grow.”

CEO Kim, who entered his eighth month in office this month, is speeding up his ‘AICT’-related business.

At the Mobile World Congress 2024 held in Barcelona last month, he met with reporters and said, “We will be reborn as an ‘AICT’ company that adds IT (information technology) and AI (artificial intelligence) to communication capabilities.”

In order to strengthen IT capabilities that are insufficient compared to telecommunications, the main business, it also put a strong drive on fostering professional talent. Recently, KT hired more than 1,000 ICT professionals, including AI, and supported in-house executives and employees to strengthen their “AI literacy” program and acquire certificates.

On this day, CEO Kim actively responded to questions from shareholders who visited the shareholders’ meeting.

Asked about the restructuring plan, he dismissed it as “no artificial large-scale restructuring” and replied, “There may be normal and reasonable restructuring for the basic management and innovation of the company.”

Regarding the “Rwanda Project” and the bleeding of funds due to advisors, which was promoted during the former chairman Lee Seok-chae’s tenure, he said, “It is true that a lot of losses have occurred, and we are in the process of organizing the business.”

There was also criticism at the shareholders’ meeting that it was a “pariah” personnel with prosecutors and political figures. CEO Kim said, “No one has been recruited because he was from the prosecution or politics,” and added, “We have brought talented people with excellent expertise to solve and manage reasonable problems.”

Shareholders who attended KT’s regular shareholders’ meeting are entering the general shareholders’ meeting. [Photo source = KT]

At this shareholders’ meeting, a total of three agendas were proposed, including ▲ approval of the 42nd financial statement ▲ partial change in the articles of incorporation ▲ approval of the remuneration limit for directors, and the original plan was decided.

It also made efforts to advance shareholder policies by enhancing shareholder value and establish its position under the “Kim Young-seop system.” In accordance with the approval of partial amendment of the articles of incorporation, quarterly dividends were introduced from this year, and the dividend process was improved so that the board of directors can decide on the base date for settlement dividends. Investment stability is expected to increase as investors will be able to check the size of KT’s dividends first and decide whether to invest or not.

According to the approval of the financial statements, the dividend per share has been confirmed to be KRW 1960 and will be paid on the 26th of next month. It will return a total of 510.1 billion won to shareholders, including the acquisition and incineration of treasury stocks worth 27.1 billion won, which was completed on the 25th.

In addition to the plan to introduce quarterly dividends, CEO Kim announced a “mid-term shareholder return policy” in October last year, guaranteeing a minimum dividend of KRW 1960 by 2025 and announcing a policy on buying and burning treasury stocks.


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