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Call me ‘Bae Ha-jun’: OB CEO from Belgium gets Korean name

Oriental Brewery CEO Ben Verhaert now goes by the Korean name Bae Ha-jun. (OB)
Oriental Brewery CEO Ben Verhaert now goes by the Korean name Bae Ha-jun. (OB)

Ben Verhaert, CEO of the South Korea-based Oriental Brewery, has chosen a new Korean name to foster friendly communication with his Korean employees and customers, the company said Wednesday. The Belgian national now goes by Bae Ha-jun.

The CEO took up his current post in November last year. Belgian brewing giant Anheuser-Busch InBev acquired OB in 2014.

The name Ha-jun consists of the Chinese characters “ha,” referring to water, and “jun,” meaning height, the company explained. It signifies leadership with infinite potential “as wide as the ocean,” and suggests water flowing down from great heights.

“CEO Bae’s new Korean name is his expression of a desire to communicate in a friendlier way with the employees and partners, and to show his understanding of the Korean culture,” an OB official said.

“Under his way of management, involving sincere communication, we expect (to see the) sustainable growth of the company.”

Bae (aka Verhaert) has built a career mainly in the sales and logistics fields at AB InBev since 2001, and was formerly the president of AB InBev’s South Asian operations.

It has become customary for the company’s foreign CEOs to adopt Korean names. Bae’s predecessor Bruno Cosentino went by the name Goh Dong-woo.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)
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