(from left) Hwang Gak-ky, head of the Management Innovation Office,; Huh Soo-young of Lotte Chemical, head of the Chemical Business Unit,; Lee Won-joon of president & ceo Lotte Department Store,; Lee Jae-hyuk of LotteChilsung Beverage, vice chairman and head of the Food Business Unit,; and Song Yong-deok of Lotte Hotel, vice chairman of the Hotel Business Unit. (Photos: Lotte Group)
In celebration of Lotte Business Group’s 50th anniversary this year, Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin has carried out the group’s largest-ever reshuffle, largely involving younger managers who have “the right stuff” to overcome business uncertainties.
The latest personnel changes may be construed as Chairman Shin’s strong will to solidify his leader ship by replacing CEOs with youth to overcome worsening business uncertainties, including China’s retaliation against Korea’s installation of U.S. Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD).
Lotte Group conducted the 2017 regular reshuffle involving 21 group subsidiaries, which held their respective meeting of the board of directors on Feb. 21.
The restructuring of the group’s Policy Headquarters and the establishment of law-abiding management regime, core parts of the group’s management reform measures Chairman Shin announced last October, has been reflected in the latest reshuffle. As a result, the Policy Headquarters, which had seven offices and 17 teams with a combined 200 staff members, will be divided into the Management Innovation Office responsible for the group’s businesses and the Compliance Committee designed to translate law-abiding management into action. The Management Innovation Office is reduced to four teams ― Value Management Team; Financial Innovation Team; Communications Team; and the HR Innovation Team.
Hwang Gak-kyu, a close confidant of Chairman Shin, has been tapped as head of the Management Innovation Office. Soh Jin-sae, former chief of external cooperation at the Policy Headquarters, has been appointed to be chairman of the Social Contribution Committee
The business group introduced four business units and three chairmen to put into practice responsible management. It is the first time in the group’s history that three CEOs have been promoted to vice chairmen, who have no blood ties with owner families, following the death of the late vice chairman Lee In-won.
President & CEO Lee Won-joon of Lotte Department Store and President & CEO Lee Jae-hyuk of Lotte Chilsung Beverage have been promoted to vice chairmen to head the Distribution Business Unit and the Food Business Unit, respectively. President & CEO Song Yong-deok of Lotte Hotel is expected to be promoted to vice chairman of the Hotel Business Unit at a meeting of the hotel’s board of directors slated for Feb. 23.
New Distribution Unit Vice Chairman Lee, born in 1956, is a seasoned veteran who has been involved in the distribution industry for 36 years since entering Lotte Department Store in 1981. He held such major positions as head of the main outlet of Lotte Department Store om 2008, chief of the Business Headquarters in 2008, and president & CEO of Lotte Department Store.
New Food Unit Vice Chairman Lee will oversee all food subsidiaries of the group, including Lotte Confectionery, Lotte Chilsung Beverage and Lotteria. Lee had spearheaded growth and changes of the group while working with the group’s Policy Headquarters between 1978 and 1996. He was appointed as chief of the Management Headquarters of Lotte Chilsung Beverage and worked with the group’s Policy Headquarters from 2008 before he was tapped as president of Lottte Chilsung Beverage and Lotte Liquor.
New Hotel Vice Chairman-desigante Song has been with the hotel business of Lotte Group since 1979. He held such positions as general manager of Lotte Hotel’s business in New York, general manager of Lotte World Hotel, general manager of Lotte Hotel Jeju before he was appointed to be president & CEO of Hotel Lotte.
Former President Huh Soo-young of Lotte Chemical, tapped as the head of the Chemical Business Unit, has not been promoted to vice chairman in consideration of a pending probe by the prosecution.