Cho Yang-ho

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Cho Yang-ho
Cho Yang-ho in the 2015-2016 of Korea-France Bilateral Exchanges (cropped).jpg
Cho Yang-ho in 2016
Born 1949 (1949) (age 70)
Children 3
Korean name
Revised Romanization Jo Yang-ho
McCune–Reischauer Cho Yang-ho

Cho Yang-ho (Hangul조양호; sometimes written Y. H. Cho)[1] is the chairman and chief executive officer of Korean Air, chairman of the Hanjin Group, and a founding member of SkyTeam alliance.

In May 2018, a protest rally called Cho to step down as chairman of Korean Air [2]


Cho is the chairman of the Hanjin Group—one of the world's largest transportation conglomerates. He was named to this post in February 2003 after having served as the Group's vice chairman since 1996. He is also the Director and CEO of various subsidiary companies including Hanjin Shipping, Korea Airport Service (KAS), JungSeok Enterprise Co. and Hanjin Information Systems & Telecommunications (HIST).

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Cho was elected vice-chairman of The Federation of Korean Industries (FKI) in 1996 and has held the title of honorary consulate-general to Ireland in the Republic of Korea since 1995. He was named Chairman of the Korea-French High Level Businessmen's Club in October 2000 and has also served on the Board of Governors for the International Air Transport Association (IATA) since elected in May 2001. In addition, he became chairman of the Korea-Canada Business Council in 1993 and, since 2004, is currently serving as Chairman of the Korea Defense Industry Association. Cho has been on the USC Board of Trustees since 1997.[3] In addition, he is serving as the chairman of the board of directors at both Inha and Hankuk Aviation University.

In 2000, he was convicted of tax evasion.[4][5]


Cho is the son of Cho Choong-hoon [ko], the founder of Hanjin Group and former head of Korean Air.

Cho is married, and has one son and two daughters: Cho Won-tae, Cho Hyun-ah (also known by the English name Heather Cho), and Cho Hyeon-min. All three official children are also graduates of the University of Southern California.[1] His daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, ran the company's hotel division. His daughter, Cho Hyun-ah, was the subject of a December 2014 news report that she physically struck crew members, ordered a crew member to kneel and beg for forgiveness, and ordered a Korean Air Lines plane to return to the gate to force a flight attendant off the plane because a packet of macadamia nuts were served to her in a bag instead of on a plate.[1][6] She was forced to resign after the incident and was sentenced to one year imprisonment without probation in February 2015. She was released after serving 3 months.[7]


  • April 2005: Order of the Polar Star [mn] (highest civilian honor awarded by Mongolia to foreign citizens)
  • October 2005: Moran Medal of the Order of Civil Merit (South Korea)
  • January 2012: Mugunghwa Medal of the Order of Civil Merit (South Korea)
  • November 2015: Grand Officier in the Legion of Honour (France)


After receiving a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering from Inha University in 1975, Cho received an MBA from the University of Southern California in 1979, and a doctoral degree in business administration from Inha University in 1988. Additionally in 1998, he received an honorary doctorate degree in aviation business administration from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Florida.

Cho was named Chairman and CEO of Korean Air in April 1999 having served as President and CEO of the airline since 1992. Prior to that, he held positions as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Korean Air. Cho began working for Korean Air as a manager in the Americas Regional Headquarters in 1974. He worked his way up the company ranks by continually adding various departments to his overall responsibilities - including maintenance, marketing, purchasing, information systems and corporate planning.


  1. ^ a b c Fred A. Bernstein, Checking In: Dressing It Up Before Tearing It Down, The New York Times, June 7, 2009, Accessed June 8, 2009.
  2. ^
  3. ^ Board of Trustees Archived 2011-07-26 at the Wayback Machine, University of Southern California, Accessed April 13, 2008.
  4. ^ In-Soo Nam (February 11, 2015). "Former Korean Air Executive Faces Judgment Over 'Nut Rage' Incident". Wall Street Journal.
  5. ^ "Seoul Jails Embattled Chairman of Korean Air". New York Times. November 12, 1999.
  6. ^
  7. ^ "Korean Air executive guilty in 'nut rage' case". 12 February 2015.
Preceded by
South Korea Kim Jin-sun
President of Organizing Committee for 2018 Winter Olympics
Succeeded by
South Korea Lee Hee-beom
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