The emergency committee chaired by Chairman Sohn will take charge of key matters while affiliate CEOs given more power
(photos from left) Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik, V. Chmn. Lee Mee-kyung,
V. Chmn. Lee Chae-wook, Pres. Lee Kwan-hoon of CJ Co., Pres. Kim Chul-ha of CJ Cheiljedang. (Photo: CJ Group)
CJ Group has launched the Group Management Committee to fill the management vacuum created by its Chairman Lee Jae-hyun’s absence.
The development means that the group’s management will be in the hands of professional managers from owner management, and heads of affiliates will now have more power to run their respective companies.
The group held a top executives’ meeting presided over by Chairman Sohn Kyung-shik during which they agreed to set up a five-man committee led by the chairman. The committee is made up of group Vice Chairman Lee Mee-kyung, Vice Chairman Lee Chae-wook of CJ Korea Express, President Lee Kwan-hoon of CJ Co., and President Kim Chul-ha of CJ Cheiljedang.
Officials of the group said the committee will meet twice a month to take up various important issues related to the management of the group and its affiliates and will also meet whenever urgent issues arise.
But the business community feels that even if the committee has been launched, big issues will still have to be approved by Chairman Lee.
Sources close to the group said the absence of the group chairman has already begun to show with the delayed construction of apartments and shopping malls at the old site of Cheiljedang in Gayang-dong in Seoul adjacent to Gimpo Airport.
Investment bank sources said Seoul City approved the upgrade of the 100,000-pyeong site for the construction of the multipurpose commercial structure in October last year, but CJ Group has yet to submit a detailed plan for the development of the site.
Chairman Sohn, also chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) and an uncle of the group chairman, was involved in the management of the group with the group chairman since 2002. He took over the KCCI as chairman in 2005.
Vice Chairman Lee, a sister of the group chairman Lee, is in charge of the group’s media businesses, running CJ E&M. Chairman Sohn was named to head the management committee on the advice of the group chairman’s mother based on his excellent record as the KCCI chairman and as a former executive of the Samsung Group who engineered the split of Cheiljedang from Samsung Group and moved to CJ Group to continue to manage the sugar refining firm, which includes business areas such as food condiments.
The group has a long-term plan to expand its overseas operations to account for 70 percent of its sales by 2020. But the plan might not work as planned since the project to take over a lysine company in China is being stalled, as are projects to start fertilizer and logistics businesses in Vietnam and China.
The committee will have to take charge of various group management matters including its medium-to-long-term management strategies, measures to recover trust in the group’s management, social services, and others key issues for the group. Officials of the group don’t see any problems for the committee to manage these issues since the members of the committee include members of the owner families such as Chairman Sohn and Vice Chairman Lee.
CEOs of the group’s affiliates will have more power in managing their companies including CJ Korea Express and CJ Cheiljedang, the two key affiliates for example, with the management committee taking charge of policies related to the entire group and other very crucial matters for affiliates..