Lotte conducts major reshuffle

By Korea Herald

Management shake-up comes one month earlier than usual

  • Published : Jan 28, 2014 - 19:49
  • Updated : Jan 28, 2014 - 19:51
(from left) Hwang Kak-gyu, Kim Chee-hyun, Choi Choon-seok

Lotte Group, the country’s fifth-largest business conglomerate, on Tuesday announced a personnel reshuffle of 214 executives in a bid to strengthen its overseas business and develop next-generation growth engines.

The move was of the largest scale since group chairman Shin Dong-bin took office in 2012 to succeed his father and Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho. Eighty-two of the 214 executives were given promotions.

It also came about a month earlier than Lotte’s annual reshuffle, which usually takes place in early March.

“We are trying to form a more flexible organization to deal with the volatile global market. We also hope to nurture next-generation leaders who can develop new global projects,” said Lotte in a press release.

The latest personnel reshuffle is also expected to solidify the junior Shin’s position within the group.

Reflecting Lotte’s aims to go global, Hwang Kak-gyu, director of the groups’ International & New Business Planning division, was also named chief of the strategy planning division at the headquarters. Hwang, Shin’s so-called right-hand man, orchestrated several of the group’s most successful business projects including the acquisition of Korea Life Insurance in 2008. 

Joseph Buntaran (left), Morten Anderson
Two foreign executives were also promoted to boost Lotte’s global marketing. Joseph Buntaran, wholesales department chief of Lotte Mart Indonesia, and Morten Anderson, general manager of Lotte Hotel Moscow, were promoted to executive posts.

Kim Chee-hyun, head of Lotte corporate headquarters, was named president of Lotte Engineering & Construction.

Regarded as a close confidant to the chairman, Kim was assigned to overlook Shin’s pet project, which is the construction of Lotte World Tower in Jamsil, southern Seoul. The tower is slated to open next year, but was met with a number of obstacles that are delaying the project.

As for women employees, Song Seung-sun and Park Sun-min were named as executives of Lotte Mart and Daehong Communications, respectively.

Lotte said it plans to raise the portion of female executives to up to 30 percent in future. It declined to give a detailed schedule.

Also among the list are Choi Choon-seok, who was named president of Lotte Super chain, and Jung Seung-in, named president of Korea Seven, the operator of the Seven Eleven convenience store chain. The group also decided to establish a communications division to reinforce relations among affiliates.

Lotte, however, deferred punishment on Lotte Card. The credit card company’s executives including CEO Park Sang-hoon were exempt from penalties despite the latest data breach involving Lotte, KB Card and NongHyup. Park and six other high-ranking officials have offered to resign.

“The delay of further discipline is to prioritize a clean-up, after which we will act,” the group stated.

By Bae Ji-sook (