May 30, 2019 13:44
The ex-convict SK Group chief on Wednesday recalled his conversion to social responsibility by his girlfriend, which motivated him to create a non-profit foundation in April.
The foundation is tasked with creating an index to quantify the social value produced by corporations.
At an event hosted by the group in Seoul on Tuesday, Chey Tae-won appeared for the first time in public with his new partner Kim Hee-young and paid fulsome tribute to her.
"When I became chairman of the SK Group following my father's sudden death 22 years ago, it was when Korea was hit by the financial crisis," he told participants. "Under such circumstances, I became a coldhearted businessman to survive. I did anything and everything, but to be honest, I had zero ability to sympathize."
"Then I met someone who is the polar opposite to me. She had no interest in money, and all of her interest was in people," he added. "After seeing her, I reflected on my past and realized that I had lived my life wrongly. I learned how to approach people and also social enterprises."
Kim now heads another foundation set up by Chey, the T&C Foundation named after his initial and Kim's English name Chloe, which carries out education-related projects.
In 2015, Chey confessed that he fathered a daughter with Kim, and he has been embroiled in a protracted divorce suit with his wife Roh Soh-yeong, who refuses to let him go.
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