Yang Ho Cho, who led Pyeongchang's successful bid for the 2018 Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, has died at the age of 70, it was announced today.
Cho, the head of Korean Air, died peacefully in hospital in Los Angeles yesterday following a brief illness.
South Korean media reported he had been suffering from lung disease.
His death comes less than two weeks after he was removed from Korean Air's Board at a shareholder meeting following a series of allegations against him and his family for abusing their positions.
"The chairman was recovering from an operation he underwent late last year," a Korean Air spokesman said.
"But his condition worsened rapidly following the shareholder vote."
Cho had led the successful bid from Pyeongchang 2018 when the South Korean county was chosen ahead of Annecy and Munich at its third attempt to win the Winter Olympic and Paralympic Games, only to be replaced when the Organising Committee was formed.
He returned, however, in August 2014 at a time when there were fears over the lack of progress made by organisers.
Cho resigned in May 2016, a decision linked to the political cronyism scandal which engulfed the South Korean Government.
It later emerged that Choi Soon-sil, the adviser to then South Korean President Park Geun-hye, had played "undue influence" in helping force Cho out of his position.
Cho was also President of the Korean Table Tennis Association, a post he had held since 2008.
Last October, South Korean prosecutors indicted Cho on charges including embezzlement and breach of trust.
The charges, though, referred to his position at Korean Air and were nothing to do with his time when he led Pyeongchang 2018.
A Seoul prosecutors' office alleged Cho had taken ₩19.6 billion ($13.2 million/$17.3 million/€15.1 million) commission from 2003 until 2018 by setting up a trading company to broker aircraft equipment and in-flight duty-free goods purchase deals for Korean Air, causing the same amount of loss to the airline.
Korean Air had claimed it would present evidence which would clear Cho.
Cho was also suspected of taking ₩152 billion (£103 million/$135 million/€116 million) in medical care benefits from the National Health Insurance after illegally running a pharmacy without a licence from October 2010 to December 2014.
The pharmacy was situated near Inha University Hospital in Seoul, where Cho was chairman of the Board.
A court in Seoul today announced it would dismiss all legal proceedings related to Cho, and prosecutors said they would stop all investigations against him.
In May last year, Cho's wife Lee Myung-hee had to appear before the police after she allegedly physically and verbally abused employees at at the Hanjin Group, the conglomerate which owned Korean Air.
Cho's eldest daughter Hyun-ah was arrested in 2014 following incident in 2014 an incident dubbed "nut rage" when she ordered the Korean Air plane she was aboard to return to its gate at a JFK Airport in New York after losing her temper over the way she was served macadamia nuts.
She was sentenced to one year in prison for violating aviation law in late 2014 but was released in early 2015 when a high court suspended the sentence.
Hyun-ah's younger sister Hyun-min, meanwhile, was also at the centre of bad publicity for allegedly throwing a cup of water during a business meeting with a partner firm.
Both daughters resigned from their senior positions at Korean Air due to the scandals.
"The IOC is very sad to hear the news that the former Pyeongchang 2018 President Cho Yang-ho has passed away," they said in a statement.
"The contribution made by Mr. Cho during his leadership of the Organising Committee greatly contributed to the success of the Olympic Winter Games PyeongChang 2018.
"Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time."