May 10 (UPI) — The chairman of Korean Air, Cho Yang-ho, stepped down from his role as CEO of Jin Air on Thursday amid numerous investigations involving his family.
“The CEO change was made to strengthen the responsibility and management structure of Jin Air,” Jin Air said in a statement. “We have newly appointed Kwon Hyuk-min as the new CEO, after the resignation of Cho Yang-ho, but Cho will remain as a director.”
Jin Air is the budget unit of Korean Air Lines Co., and both companies are part of Hanjin, a transportation and logistics conglomerate.
Cho resigned after a series of incidents involving the chairman’s family that led to allegations of physical and verbal abuse as well as tax evasion and smuggling.
Cho Hyun-min, one of the chairman’s daughters and a Korean Air executive, was suspended in April during a police investigation into claims she yelled and threw water at a manager of a marketing firm during a business meeting.
The chairman’s other daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, was previously involved in the so-called “nut rage” scandal in 2014. She ordered a Korean Air plane to return to the gate and made a flight attendant kneel and beg for forgiveness after serving a bag of nuts in a package instead of on a plate.
Investigators have also launched a probe into the chairman’s wife — Lee Myung-hee — over alleged physical and verbal abuse.
Lee allegedly slapped the face of a construction crew worker hired to remodel her Seoul residence in 2013 while forcing the worker to kneel down. The worker allegedly avoided being hit by moving his head backward, and Lee yelled at the worker and kicked his knee. She is also accused of verbally insulting an employee at the Incheon-based Grand Hyatt hotel.
In April, South Korean customs services raided Korean Air’s headquarters over suspicions that the chairman’s family members were sneaking luxury goods into South Korea without paying duties.