Investor Spotlight with Bonchul Koo

Posted in News on April 27, 2022

 
 

Investor Spotlight with Bonchul Koo

 
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Bonchul Koo is the president of LG Energy Solution Michigan, Inc. He started his tenure at LG Energy Solution, Michigan, Inc. in September 2019. He has been dedicating his professional life to the advancement of the Lithium-ion battery business as an engineer and a leader since he joined LG Chem in 2005. (LG Energy Solution was part of LG Chem until it was completely spun off from it in December 2020). He received his bachelor’s degree in Automation Engineering from Inha University, South Korea, and an MBA from the State University of New York at Buffalo. He is married with one son, who moved back to Korea after living in Michigan for two years. 
  
You have years of Senior Executive leadership experience. Who are the people who have had a profound influence on you and your leadership style?
 
There are so many great people I have encountered in my life, who helped shape and build my character, philosophy, work ethic, and leadership style. But only a handful of people made the most profound impact on how I communicate with my team members and employees. I met Joon Ho Kim, the former Vice President of LG Chem when I worked as Sr. Manager at LG Chem, South Korea. I was lucky to have a chance to talk to him about an issue I was struggling with. I was impressed by his humility and sincerity when he was advising me on my issue. I later observed that his demeanor was exactly the same whomever he talked to, regardless of their ranking or position. He was willing to listen to what people had to say and try to resolve any issues collaboratively whether small or big. I am indebted to him for my patience and my listening skills when communicating with my employees. 
 
Talk to us about company culture. What are some values that you and your team live by? 
 
When it comes to company culture and core values, we have the “LG Way.” This is the foundation for every LG member's thoughts and actions to observe and implement. The “LG Way” is composed of the company’s vision, behavioral mode, and management principle. First, our vision is to become the market leader in business performance and management practices. Second, our behavioral model is predetermined by “Jeong-Do Management.”; it expresses our company’s ethical management and code of conduct for members’ capability development and fair competition. Lastly, our management principles stress customer-value creation and people-oriented management. 

Talk to us about your employee benefits program? What are some unique programs your company provides to your employees?
 
Our company has recently revamped our employee welfare program. We want our company to be the best place to work in Michigan and beyond. This year, we are working on multiple initiatives to create a great work culture where the employee can truly enjoy their work and feel that they are cared for. The new initiatives include offering subsidies for employees’ children, elderly care, setting up a 2-day dental clinic for simple treatments, and the “Joyful Activities Program,” which is in the planning stage currently. I look forward to seeing our company’s work culture change to be more positive, and more joyful.
 
You recently celebrated a transformational expansion. Talk to us about why you chose our area as a place to continue growing.
 
LG Energy Solution is at the forefront of green business, promoting sustainability, electrification, and innovation. We have already become a contributor to the State of Michigan’s “championship economy.” Michigan was a natural choice to our commitment of building an impactful global business because of its rich pool of talent, being close to the geographic epicenter of the automotive industry and its strong support.   
 
What is a book that you’ve read or an influencer that you watch that has made you a better leader? 
 
The Essential Drucker by Peter Drucker teaches the basics of management to innovation and marketing. Drucker stresses the importance of managing people, which determines the success of a business. He talks about recognizing imperfection but pursuing perfection, which is a perspective I apply when directing new initiatives and managing people. The core concept of this attitude acknowledges that we are not perfect. If we expect things to be perfect, we will always be disappointed rather than get a sense of satisfaction or achievement. On the contrary, if we accept the nature of our imperfection, we will experience satisfaction more quickly and be more motivated while making improvements. This way of thinking will help us cope with challenging tasks and situations. Instead of being frustrated, we would be able to accept the current situation and move forward to resolving problems.
 
Can you share why it is a priority for you to invest in economic development?  
 
As we are expanding and partnering with a number of large automotive companies with an ESG vision, we are in a critical position. Investing in economic development is essential to building a successful company, furthermore, a successful global economy. Our investment would enable us to maximize what we can offer the community and the people around us.
 
About LG Energy Solution
 
LG Energy Solution Michigan is a subsidiary of LG Energy Solution, headquartered in South Korea. We manufacture large lithium-ion battery cells and packs for electric vehicles (EVs) and other energy storage applications. Our Michigan locations manufacture and research electric vehicle battery technologies for some of the most recognizable car brands in the country.
 
At LG Energy Solution, we know that what we make impacts our employees, communities, and the planet. We do our best to improve continually and to care for our employees through benefits and pay, to care for the community through partnerships and commerce as we grow, to care for our environment in the way we operate our landfill-free facilities and continue to create sustainable solutions for energy storage.