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Homeplus CEO resigns after 3 years

First female CEO in hypermarket industry stepping down for personal reasons

Homeplus CEO Lim Il-soon (Homeplus)
Homeplus CEO Lim Il-soon (Homeplus)

Homeplus CEO Lim Il-soon intends to resign after leading the hypermarket chain for three years, the company said Thursday.

Lim, the first female CEO in the industry, told the company last year that she wished to resign for personal reasons, and the company recently accepted her resignation.

Since she was appointed to lead the retail giant in October 2017, Lim has been responsible for many industry firsts, Homeplus said.

In 2019 Lim decided to convert some 15,000 contract employees to full-time permanent employment, making 99 percent of Homeplus’ 23,000 workers permanent employees. Rival companies rely more on contract workers.

Homeplus also said Lim had transformed the conventionally offline store chain by providing an online channel for customers.

“To minimize any possible management vacuum, we have preemptively completed the overall business strategy and direction for 2021,” an official said.

Lim joined Homeplus as chief financial officer in November 2015 and became chief operations officer in May 2017 before being promoted to CEO.

While the exact date of her departure has not yet been decided, it is expected to be in mid-January, before the 2021 fiscal year starts, to prevent a management vacuum, the company said.

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