Korean Air′s Cho Yang-ho dies ′peacefully′ at age 70 | News | DW | 08.04.2019
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Korean Air's Cho Yang-ho dies 'peacefully' at age 70

The controversial leader of the South Korean airline was kicked off the board less than two weeks ago amid a series of hard-hitting scandals. His death has sent Korean Air's shares soaring.

Cho Yang-ho, the head of Korean Air, "died peacefully" on Monday at the age of 70, South Korea's flagship airline said.

His death came less than two weeks after he was forced to step down as chairman of the airline's board despite being a controlling shareholder.

Read more: Korean Air chairman's daughter found guilty in 'nut rage' case

News of Cho's death sent Korean Air's parent company Hanjin Kal soaring more than 20%.

"The death appears to have helped erase the so-called CEO Risks, which have plagued Hanjin group firms, as a series of controversies and misconducts by the owner family members have hurt corporate values," a brokerage analyst said, according to South Korea's Yonhap new agency.

'Takeover battle'

Under his chairmanship, Korean Air was embroiled in several scandals involving founding family members, including Cho's eldest daughter.

Heather Cho in 2014 tarnished Korean Air's image when she lost her temper over how she was served nuts in first class. She then ordered the aircraft to return to its gate in a move that made international headlines.

According to some analysts, his death will likely trigger a family battle over his shares.

"Of course, this family will try to inherit his shares, but that can take time and money," said Um Kyung-a, an analyst from Shinyoung Securities. "So that opens a window for expectations about the takeover battle."

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ls/ng (AFP, Reuters)

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