Special Lecture

[Global CEO Talk] "We do things that scare us" Mike Song, Genesis at Hyundai Motors

2024.03.21 Views 569 홍보팀

"We do things that scare us" Mike Song Global CEO Talk


On March 15, students of the Global MBA program at Korea University Business School participated in an engaging Global CEO talk hosted by Mike Song, the global head of Genesis at Hyundai Motors. The session took place in room #412 of the Hyundai Motors building, where Mike shared insights acquired from his illustrious 31-year tenure with Hyundai Motors, along with his recent leadership role at Genesis.


Mike's journey began in 1993 when he joined Hyundai Motors, marking the genesis of his remarkable professional trajectory. Over the years, he held diverse roles within the organization, demonstrating unwavering commitment and exceptional leadership qualities. From serving as the executive coordinator for Hyundai Motors, Canada, to heading sales and development in California, USA, Mike's journey showcased his resilience and adaptability.



In 2016, Mike joined the Dubai office, assuming the role of Head of Hyundai Motors Company, overseeing operations across 74 countries in the Middle East and Africa. However, in 2020, reconnecting with his homeland in Korea marked the beginning of Mike's transformative path, ultimately leading him to his pivotal position as the global head of Genesis.


As a global head, he prioritizes efficiency and excellence in his approach to work, emphasizing the importance of delivering quality results without unnecessary complexity. Rather than working long hours without tangible outcomes, he advocates for being both a diligent worker and a strategic thinker.



Described as quick and agile, Mike embodies the fast-paced nature of Hyundai's operations. He emphasizes the importance of looking ahead to anticipate competitors' moves and plan for the future. While he appreciates the benefits of moving quickly, Mike recognizes the need for balance, understanding that speed may limit the depth of analysis.


Drawing from his experiences, Mike has learned important lessons centered on freedom, flexibility, and freshness. These principles guide his leadership style, emphasizing adaptability and innovation. The session then proceeded with Mike explaining the working culture at Genesis. He emphasized minimizing hierarchy and encouraging open communication, fostering an environment where innovation thrives.


Genesis has embraced a bold approach to innovation, challenging conventional wisdom and venturing into uncharted territory. Despite initial skepticism, their daring decisions have propelled them to become a leading luxury brand, now eight years strong. With nearly equal gender representation among its diverse workforce, Genesis embodies progressiveness and inclusivity.



Reflecting its name, Genesis embodies the essence of Korean identity, blending tradition with modernity to create something truly unique. By prioritizing design, technology, and hospitality, Genesis aims to provide a transformative and unforgettable experience for its customers. At the heart of Genesis is a commitment to customer satisfaction, rooted in Korean hospitality principles of respect and generosity.


Further on being asked “How Genesis chooses the markets it wants to be in?” Mike elaborated that Genesis's approach to expanding into new markets is guided by a commitment to targeting mature luxury markets and fostering confidence among investors, customers, and partners in delivering exceptional customer experiences.


The rapid growth of Genesis, achieving 1 million units in just 7 years and 10 months, underscores its dedication to prioritizing customer experience over sheer volume. Rather than focusing solely on scaling production capacity, Genesis prioritizes enhancing the customer journey, confident that increased volume will naturally follow.


Recognizing the unique characteristics of each market, Genesis is committed to delivering exceptional hospitality tailored to meet the diverse needs of its global customer base. As a brand, Genesis seeks to disrupt industry norms, striving to be a rule breaker today and a rule maker tomorrow.



Their corporate strategy revolves around differentiation, prioritizing brand and customer experience over conforming to industry standards. By embracing bespoke programming and offering personalized customization options, Genesis aims to set itself apart in the market. In serving their customer base, Genesis recognizes the importance of catering to various customer segments, including those with purchasing power and those who may not be immediate buyers but contribute to brand recognition.


He concluded the session by stating that by appealing to all senses and delivering a holistic sensory experience, Genesis aims to cultivate deeper connections with its customers, driving brand loyalty and satisfaction.