Special Report; HEI Making A Brand New Start after Innovative Restructuring

Article excerpt

The history of Hyundai Electronics Industries (HEI) is by no means long, dating back to 1983, but this will be a memorable year, one in which it makes a

brand new start with digital, transparent management.

Over the past couple of years, HEI had been engulfed in its merger with LG Semicon as part of the government's aggressive corporate restructuring drive.

It had been a lot of work creating the world's largest producer of dynamic random access memory chips but things are seemingly back to normal now with its new headquarters in the Tehran Valley in Seoul.

``There are naturally some negative effects of a merger of this size but we have overcome most of the difficulties and we are now beginning to hum along,'' says HEI's new president and CEO Dr. Park Chong-sup.

``The management of the manpower situation certainly offered a challenge but on the technical side, the merger was essential to securing the technology for the 0.13 micron design rule,'' he notes.

And Park should know about mergers and acquisitions since he did a thing or two while he headed Hyundai Electronics America, including the listing of hard disc drive producer Maxtor on the NASDAQ.

While there for some 12 years, the 52-year-old Park also engineered the acquisition and later the disposal of Symbios Logic, a non-memory specialist located in Colorado, at a handsome profit.

Another memorable undertaking has been the construction of a fab in Eugene, Oregon which is currently turning out an average of 30,000 8-inch wafers of 64 megabit DRAMs.

``The operation of the Eugene plant is ideal for not only satisfying the needs of customers in the United States but for avoiding trade friction. The yield is not quite as high as our plants in Ichon but it is constantly improving,'' says Dr. Park.

The operation of the Eugene plant virtually creates an empire of DRAM manufacturing facilities which combine to process more than 300,000 8-inch wafers per month.

``This is the year in which we make the big leap, creating more depth in both memory and non-memory semiconductors as well as liquid crystal displays and wireless telecommunications,'' Park says.

In his vision, HEI will achieve sales of 11 trillion won this year, up sharply from last year's 6 trillion won, with investments totaling 2.5 trillion won, mostly for upgrading facilities.

``This is the year in which we will really begin to see the synergy effect from our merger with LG Semicon and our revenues should reach 22 trillion won by the year 2003,'' he explains. …