The man who helped turn Korean Air into a global powerhouse has died.
Cho Yang-ho died in Los Angeles on Sunday, Korean Air said in a statement Monday. He was 70 years old. The company didn’t reveal the cause of death.
Cho took over as chairman and CEO of Korean Air from his father in 1999. The following year, Cho became a founder of the SkyTeam airline alliance — a move that put Korean Air on the international map.
Cho was also head of Korean Air parent company Hanjin Group, one of South Korea’s sprawling family-run conglomerates.
In more recent years, Cho made headlines for all the wrong reasons. He and his family have been accused of fostering a culture of abuse and violence at the company.
Investors are now hoping the company’s governance issues are behind it — shares in Hanjin Transportation spiked 14% in Seoul following the news of Cho’s death. Korean Air rose as much as 4% in morning trading.