Japan’s Lotte Holdings appoints new chief executive externally Move seen as effort by chairman Shin Dong-bin to reinvigorate ailing retail group

Translated by Ryu Ho-joung 공개 2021-06-03 07:49:23

이 기사는 2021년 06월 03일 07:44 더벨 유료페이지에 표출된 기사입니다.

Lotte Holdings, the holding company for Lotte Group’s units in Japan, has appointed a new chief executive externally, a move seen as an effort by chairman Shin Dong-bin to reinvigorate the retail group.

The Japanese company announced last month that it had named Genichi Tamatsuka the new chief executive officer. Tamatsuka served as chief executive of convenience store chain Lawson before joining Lotte Holdings. He will be responsible for day-to-day management, while Shin will focus on the overall management of the group’s strategy.

The announcement came as a surprise to many who expected one of Shin’s long-term internal allies to assume the role.

Shin took over the chief executive role in 2015 shortly after his older brother, SDJ Corporation chairman Shin Dong-joo, was dismissed from the company’s board of directors. He was able to quickly strengthen the grip on the Japanese operations with the help of his close allies, the holding company’s former president Takayuki Tsukuda and vice-president Masamoto Kobayashi.

Lotte Holdings has since led by Tsukuda and Kobayashi as Shin was jailed in South Korea for bribery in 2018. In South Korea, Lotte Group vice chairman Hwang Kag-gyu aided Shin to fill his absence.

Shin returned to management in 2020, and a few months later, Tsukuda and Hwang resigned from their roles in a surprise move as part of a reshuffle in the group. Industry watchers said at the time that Shin probably put pressure on them to step down.

The revamp reflected Shin’s determination to reinvigorate the group’s businesses by overhauling the leadership, industry watchers said. Lotte’s revenues in Japan almost halved as its mainstay confectionery business was crippled by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Also, there is a view that the move was intended to further cement Shin's grip on the group. “Since Tsukuda stepped down, there have been many changes in senior executives. A generational change is taking place,” said a person close to Lotte Holdings. (Reporting by Eun-jin Choi)
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