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Asiana Airlines Names New CEO 5 Months After Crash

Dec 24, 2013 4:00 am

Skift Take

New leadership at Asiana and enhanced pilot training were both called for given what’s come out about the crash in San Francisco in July.

— Dennis Schaal

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Jeff Chiu  / Associated Press

The wreckage of Asiana Flight 214, which crashed on Saturday, July 6, 2013, seen at San Francisco International Airport, in San Francisco, Friday, July 12, 2013. Jeff Chiu / Associated Press

Asiana Airlines Inc., South Korea’s second-biggest carrier, named a new chief executive officer to replace Yoon Young Doo, who headed the company when one of its planes crashed while landing in San Francisco in July.

Kim Soo Cheon, 57, will take over from Yoon starting Jan. 1 as part of annual personnel changes, the airline’s parent Kumho Asiana Group said in an e-mailed statement today. Kim is currently chief executive officer of Air Busan Co., a budget carrier 46 percent owned by Seoul-based Asiana Airlines.

“Yoon has served as CEO for five years and has fulfilled his duties,” Lee Hyo Min, a spokeswoman at Asiana, said by phone from Seoul. “This personnel change has nothing to do with the accident.”

Asiana strengthened its pilot training and hired Akiyoshi Yamamura from All Nippon Airways Co. as head of safety after Asiana flight 214 struck a seawall short of the San Francisco airport on July 6, killing three people. The chief pilot of the Boeing Co. 777-200 ER wide-body plane inadvertently disabled a speed-control system before the crash, according to information released at a U.S. National Transportation Safety Board hearing this month.

Yoon will remain with the company as an adviser, the group said in the statement.

Asiana rose 0.2 percent to 4,820 won as of 10:49 a.m. in Seoul trading. The stock has dropped 22 percent this year, while Korea’s Kospi index is little changed.

The safety board hasn’t concluded what caused the crash, the first accident in the U.S. with passenger deaths since 2009.

The accident was Asiana’s worst since 1993, when a Boeing 737 crashed in Mokpo, south of Seoul, killing 66 people, according to the National Archives of Korea. The airline’s last disaster was the crash of a cargo freighter in the sea south of Jeju island in July 2011.

–Editors: Anand Krishnamoorthy, Lena Lee

To contact the reporter on this story: Kyunghee Park in Singapore at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anand Krishnamoorthy at

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