Jeong-Hoon Kim, who is one Monumental Sports’ minority partners has been nominated as South Korea’s new Minister of Future Creation and Science by Park Geun-Hye, who is the country’s President-Elect and will take over next Monday on February 25, 2013. Kim would be serving in a cabinet level position in Seoul.
Without getting too deep into Korean politics, Kim’s nomination doesn’t come without controversy because he is a naturalized American citizen who was an American Naval officer and has served on CIA advisory boards in recent years which is where most of the potential issues are coming from. However, he appears to made major steps to show his commitment to Korea by giving up his American citizenship and also by resigning from his post as President of Bell Labs, an R&D;subsidiary of Alcatel-Lucent. Gee Rittenhouse, has been named his successor.
As of the time of this post, there hasn’t been any known indication that he has also left Monumental Sports in order to distance himself from American business ties that may be considered as interfering with Korean government interests. Washington is a city with as many government ties as any other place in the world, but I couldn’t see the Verizon Center and the sports teams interfering with those duties.
Monumental Sports and Entertainment has described itself as “one of the largest integrated sports and entertainment companies in the country with one of the most diverse partnership groups in all of sports.” Assuming Kim remains with Monumental as a partner, adding a highlight that a partner is also a high ranking official on one of the world’s most powerful countries in Asia certainly adds to that diversity.