Long-time SK executive J.J. Yu to take on new position as U.S. investments ramp up
Yu continues to lead SK E&S, which has made major investments in U.S. energy firms
NEW YORK, June 2, 2022 – SK Group, South Korea’s second-largest conglomerate, has named J.J. (Jeong Joon) Yu its first Head of U.S. Corporate and Government Affairs as SK companies prepare for significant investments and expansions in their American businesses.
In his new role, Yu will serve as a liaison across SK companies with the U.S. business community and government officials. He will continue to serve as an SK Group Vice Chairman and CEO of SK E&S, a major SK energy company with significant investments in the U.S.
The appointment comes as SK companies increase their presence around the world and in the U.S., driven by a mission to build businesses that have a positive impact on the environment and society. SK companies have more than $13 billion in U.S. assets with plans to invest an additional $30 billion by the end of 2025. Over that same period, SK companies are expected to grow from a combined 4,000 U.S. employees today to 20,000 employees.
The U.S. expansion and investments will largely be focused on clean energy and technology, including batteries for electric vehicles, charging infrastructure for electric vehicles, hydrogen energy and energy storage solutions. Semiconductors and life sciences also will be areas of emphasis.
“The challenges facing society today will require even stronger collaborations across businesses and governments around the world,” Yu said. “SK’s increased U.S. investments and partnerships are intended to create new jobs and economic opportunities in local communities as well as new solutions that help address global issues from climate change to health crises.”
Supports SK’s Growing U.S. Presence
SK, which has operated in the U.S. for more than three decades, has a strong base in the U.S. with sites in more than a dozen states and the District of Columbia. SK On, one of the world’s top five makers of batteries for electric vehicles, started production of EV batteries earlier this year at its Georgia site with plans for new manufacturing sites in Kentucky and Tennessee as part of a joint venture with Ford Motor Co.
SK hynix, the world’s top-tier supplier of memory chips, has a U.S. headquarters in San Jose and created late last year a new stand-alone U.S. subsidiary, Solidigm, following the completion of the first stage of an acquisition of Intel’s NAND and SSD business.
SK Pharmteco, a contract developer and manufacturer of pharmaceutical ingredients, has its global headquarters in the Sacramento, Calif., area and production facilities in California, Texas and Virginia through one of its companies, AMPAC Fine Chemicals.
Continues Global Leadership in Energy Transition
For over 25 years, Yu has demonstrated global industry leadership and expertise in both traditional and new energy. His experience ranges from exploration and production of traditional energy sources, such as oil and gas, to development of new energy sources, including solar, wind, hydrogen and energy storage.
As the world transitions to a net-zero future, he also has focused on emerging technologies, such as applying artificial intelligence to help power grids better support the shift to electric vehicles and distributed energy resources that enable greater use of renewables.
In his role at SK E&S, Yu has led significant investments in U.S. energy companies, shifting its focus from fossil fuels to renewable energy as SK E&S seeks to transition its business to a new era of sustainable energy.
Among its U.S investments, SK E&S and SK Inc. participated last year in a $1.6 billion investment in Plug Power, a Latham, N.Y.-based leader in hydrogen energy. Last year, SK E&S took a majority stake in Key Capture Energy, an Albany, N.Y., energy storage solutions firm, and earlier this year, it acquired EverCharge, a California-based EV charging company. SK E&S also has investments and partnerships in gas exploration and production in Oklahoma and Texas.
Builds on Strong U.S.-Korea Connections
Yu will be based in New York where several SK companies have U.S. business development and investments teams, including SK E&S through its PassKey subsidiary and SK Inc. through its SK USA and Plutus Capital subsidiaries.
The role as Head of U.S. Corporate and Government Affairs brings Yu full circle in his career. He began his career as a senior accountant at the New York office of Deloitte & Touche in 1987, and later joined McKinsey & Co. to establish its Seoul office in 1991. Yu joined SK in 1998 and has held several leadership positions at SK companies.
“I’m honored and excited to be taking on this new position as SK starts a new chapter in the U.S.,” Yu said. “I look forward to supporting SK companies as they seek to expand their presence and strengthen partnerships that benefit both the U.S. and Korea markets.”