Pyeongchang Winter Olympics 2018 chief steps down

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Seoul, May 3 (IANS) Cho Yang-ho, the chief of the organising committee of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, stepped down on Tuesday to focus on his role as head of one of South Korea’s biggest conglomerates.

Cho, chairman of the Hanjin Group, decided to resign from his post “with immediate effect” owing to “critical financial issues” facing one of the companies of the conglomerate, Hanjin Shipping, the organizing committee said in a statement, reports Efe.

The head of the business conglomerate, one of the ten largest in the Asian country, will focus his efforts on restructuring and stabilizing Hanjin Shipping, according to a statement issued to the media in Seoul.

Cho Yang-ho, who has been heading Pyeongchang’s organizing committee since August 2014, said in the note he will continue supporting the event.

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The South Korean businessman played a key role in Pyeongchang’s successful bid in 2011 to host the event by the International Olympic Committee (IOC), beating the German city of Munich and French city of Annecy.

The organizing committee has faced stumbling blocks in the past, including construction delays and financial issues, all of which have been resolved, according to the committee.

The chairman of the Hanjin Group, which operates South Korea’s largest carrier, Korean Air, came into spotlight a year ago due to a controversy surrounding his daughter, the then vice-president of Korean Air, Cho Hyun-ah, who forced an airplane to return to the terminal to offload a flight attendant.

Following the incident, Cho had issued a public apology for the behavior of his daughter, who was sent to prison for several months.

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