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Nongshim Group inaugurates heir Shin Dong-won as new chairman

Nongshim Group’s new chairman, Shin Dong-won (Nongshim)
Nongshim Group’s new chairman, Shin Dong-won (Nongshim)

Shin Dong-won, the eldest son of the late founder and chairman of Nongshim Group Shin Choon-ho, has been inaugurated as the new chairman of Nongshim Group, the South Korean food company said Thursday.

The promotion of Shin, who was formerly Nongshim’s vice chairman, was decided at a temporary board of directors meeting, the company said, to allow him to succeed to the post of his late father who died of chronic illness in March at the age of 92.

Under the second-generation leader, Nongshim, best known for its noodle products, will pursue change and innovation to refresh its businesses, the company said.

In his inaugural speech delivered to employees, Shin stressed that the company should promote “good growth.”

They should also make changes from inside the company so that it can become a responsible corporate member of society, while also upgrading the level of its domestic and overseas businesses, Shin added.

To target the growing consumer groups of single-household families and seniors, and to meet the trends of the younger consumers, Nongshim will work to develop new instant noodles, he added.

The new chairman also revealed his goals to strengthen the company’s presence in the global instant noodle market.

“We should not be satisfied with our place as the fifth global instant noodle company in the global market,” Shin said.

“We will reorganize our production and marketing system to a top-class level (to go beyond the current ranking).”

Nongshim said it plans to expand overseas sales of its instant noodles, which currently stand at about 30 percent of the company’s total sales, by increasing production volume.

The construction of Nongshim’s second food factory in the United States, which will be producing instant noodles in bags and cups, is set to be complete around the end of this year. This would add about 350 million instant noodle products for the company to produce 850 million products annually, Nongshim explained.

Nongshim is also developing new product categories, such as health functional foods and meat analogues to its portfolio, the company added.

Born in Busan in 1958, Shin studied chemical engineering at Korea University and earned a master’s degree in international trade. Shin entered Nongshim in December 1979, and also took a business management course from Seoul National University in 1998.

By Jo He-rim (