C.K. Yoo has led HMM since late 2016, after a two-year hiatus away from the carrier in 2014-15. He first joined HMM in 1986.
Yoo has been credited with helping to navigate HMM through a difficult period and last April was offered by the corporate board a three-year extension to his contract as CEO.
“Last year we steadily made preparations for a new leap in the midst of difficult internal and external circumstances, including U.S. sanctions on Iran, soaring oil prices and global trade conflict, achieving a 150 percent increase in handling cargo volume from 3 million TEUs in 2016 to 4.5 million TEUs in 2018, thereby restoring the trust of our customers,” Yoo said in his 2019 New Year’s statement to HMM’s employees.
The carrier still is experiencing financial difficulties, reporting in mid-February that it had an operating loss of 576.5 billion won ($513 million) in 2018, compared with a loss of 406.8 billion won in 2017, while HMM saw its overall revenue grow to 5.222 trillion won in 2018, an increase over the 5.028 trillion won it reported in 2017.
No further explanation regarding Yoo’s departure has been released by HMM.