Founder and Chairman
Sudang Kim Yeon-su
Chairman Sudang Kim Yeon-su was born at the end of the 19th century.
He lived through Korea’s Japanese colonial period and through the Korean War, April 19 Uprising, May 16 Military Revolution, and economic modernization era.
Amid the tumultuous political and social changes he witnessed, he left a great footprint in the recent-modern economic history of Korea.
Sudang was born in Gochang, North Jeolla Province in 1896. He belonged to the 13th generation of descendants of the great Confucian scholar Kim In-hu, who, in the 16th century, led the promotion of neo-Confucianism in the Joseon Dynasty, and who served at the Confucian Shrine.
Sudang graduated from Kyoto University College of Economics in Japan in 1921. The next year, he successfully ran Gyeongseong Textile Co., which was established by his elder brother Inchon Kim Seong-su In 1924, he launched Samyang Corporation, thus setting a great milestone in the recent-modern business history of Korea.
Amid the difficulties he faced under the Japanese colonial rule, he went to Manchuria, where he established Namman Textile Co. in 1939, the first Korean business to have entered an overseas market.
Sudang led the donation of corporate operating profits and participated in raising funds for the establishment of Korea Central Institute in a bid to establish and nurture private schools in the country.
In 1939, he established Korea’s first private scholarship foundation, Yang Young Foundation. In 1968, he established Sudang Foundation to provide scholarships and financial support for research endeavors in a bid to positively foster talents.
In 1961, he served as the first chairman of the Korean Economic Council. In 1975, he served as honorary chairman of Samyang. He passed away at the age of 84 in 1979. Throughout his life, Sudang embraced the principle of respecting humans, emphasized corporate social responsibility, and became our model by engaging in such pursuits.
In recognition of such feats, the government conferred the Gold Medal Order, Iron Medal Order, and Mugunghwa Medal Order on him.
Sudang embraced the Samyang philosophical motto “Be humble to foster blessings, be generous to raise spirits, and refrain from wasting to build wealth” and practiced moderation. The Samyang motto is the foundation of Samyang’s corporate philosophy and the starting point of the Samyang culture. Since 1931, it has been practiced as the company motto.