South Korean liner operator SM Line has appointed Yoo Jo-hyuk as its new chief executive officer (CEO).
Yoo is taking over from Park Kee-hoon, who resigned on 29 September, citing personal reasons. Media speculation that Park stepped down in the face of falling freight rates was refuted by SM Line.
Yoo’s appointment is an internal promotion, as he was previously SM Line’s network group leader, acting CEO and head of planning and management headquarters. Prior to joining SM Line, Yoo was an overseas branch manager at Hanjin Shipping, which went bankrupt in 2017. SM Line, established by the Samra Midas group, had taken over Hanjin’s remaining portfolio, absorbing most of the latter company’s staff. After Park’s departure, Yoo had been the acting CEO at SM Line.
Yoo’s appointment comes less than a month after he received a plaque from the governor of the US state of Oregon on 18 October, recognising SM Line for contributing to US-South Korea trade through shipping containers to Portland port in Oregon. From December 2019 to mid-2022, SM Line performed 130 voyages from South Korea to Portland, carrying a total of 160,000 teu on its Pacific Northwest service.
SM Line’s directors stated that they had chosen Yoo as he had played a major role in establishing the company as a global container shipping player.
Yoo said that amid the market challenges, his team will help SM Line to stay competitive, by responding quickly to various external environments such as environmental regulations and reorganisation of the global supply chain.