Three months later, Reuters is reporting that Moon-sik is back with the company, a statement announcing the rehire saying, "Given his expertise, experience and leadership skills, we reinstated president Kwon to enhance quality and R&D capability from scratch." Company chairman Chung Mong-koo is said to have a reputation for firing then rehiring workers, and it's possible this rehire is especially timely because Hyundai will bring its new Sonata to market this year and likely wants its experienced R&D captain at the wheel.
The man who had taken Moon-sik's position has returned to his previous post as head of powertrain development. However, in another surprise resignation, the head of Hyundai's design center, Oh Sug-geun, has left the company for "personal reasons." He has been replaced by Lee Byung-seob, who moves up from his position as head of exterior design.
We have reached out to Hyundai for comment on Kwon Moon-sik's rehiring and will update this story when we learn more.