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Korean Air CEO Ousted From Board After Family Scandals

Korean Air Chairman Under Investigations For Embezzlement and FraudKorean Air Chairman Under Investigations For Embezzlement and Fraud
Korean Air CEO Cho Yang-ho Cho Yang-ho, has been removed from its board after a string of personal and family scandals. Chung Sung-Jun—Getty Images

The CEO of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, has been removed from its board after a string of scandals involving both him and his family. Cho has been indicted on a number of charges ranging from embezzlement to tax evasion, The Wall Street Journal reports.

While 70-year-old Cho lost his bid to stay on the board, he currently remains in the position of chief executive and chairman, which is a non-board role. Cho’s family currently owns roughly 32% of Korean Air, which is South Korea’s largest airline and flagship carrier.

Beyond Cho’s personal transgressions, in 2014 his daughter Heather Cho ordered a Korean jet to return to the terminal because she was upset she was served macadamia nuts in a bag rather than a dish on board, earning her prison time for violating aviation laws. At the time she served as head of the in-flight service for the airline. Other members of his family have been accused of smuggling luxury items as well as mistreating subordinates.

Cho needed to acquire 2/3 of the board’s vote in order to stay in his position, he was only able to win 64%, barely missing the requirement. Mr. Cho’s son remains on the board.