Kia Motors' sole Korea-based female executive leaves firm

SEOUL Thu Feb 6, 2014 1:40am EST

SEOUL Feb 6 (Reuters) - Kia Motors Corp's marketing chief and sole Korea-based female executive, Claire Chai, has left the automaker to return to the cosmetics industry.

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia are male-dominated firms with female employees accounting for less than 5 percent of their domestic workforce.

Hyundai only has one female executive among its ranks in Seoul, Choi Myoung-wha, who also works in marketing. By contrast, General Motors recently appointed its first female chief executive, Mary Barra.

Chai, a longtime L'Oreal SA executive who joined Kia in 2010, will become Amorepacific Corp's marketing chief starting Monday, a spokeswoman for the South Korean cosmetics giant said.

Kia has one other female executive, Maria Soklis, who is chief operating officer of its Canadian unit.

Kia said it had named Park Byung-yun as head of marketing. He previously oversaw brand management and export planning. The automaker declined to comment on Chai's departure. (Reporting by Hyunjoo Jin; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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