Kwak, Jea-sun

EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Class of 2023, South Korea

Chairman of KG Group


Share the joy of Kwak, Jea-sun’s winning moment at Entrepreneur Of The Year™ South Korea.

Kwak, Jea-sun is a turnaround specialist transforming companies and protecting jobs.

Kwak, Jea-sun has never hesitated to take over companies on the verge of insolvency and transform them into profitable businesses in a short period of time, protecting hundreds of thousands of jobs in the process. He is Chairman of KG Group, a Korean conglomerate that initially focused on developing businesses in the steel, automobile and chemistry industries. Today, KG Group has expanded its focus to eco-friendly companies in the energy, financial, consulting, education, media, leisure, and food and beverage sectors.

Jea-sun started his career as an entry-level office worker before he was 20. He soon developed his philosophy that companies should provide a living wage for its employees and contribute to society. His leadership and management capabilities have inspired him to acquire companies that others shied away from. Currently KG Group includes 20 affiliate companies with approximately 10,000 executives and employees. Together they are creating about 200,000 jobs at partner companies. 

Jea-sun envisions a “respectful and proud company” with values that promote human and social development. He believes employees should be proud of where they work, which in turn would inspire them to build a better future and deliver strong growth. In addition to continuously creating value, the company focuses on the satisfaction of customers, employees and investors.


It is true entrepreneurship to abandon one’s own identity, the company’s identity, and to challenge new things.