Leadership changes in South Korea

Date : 08 January 2020

Shinsegae and Lotte are carrying out executive reshuffles to deal with declining profits and intensifying competition.

Emart: names outsider as new CEO

Shinsegae group has appointed Kang Heui-seok to replace CEO Lee Gap-su to turn around the chain's poor performance

It is the first time in its 26 years’ history Emart has named an outsider as its new CEO.  "Emart's personnel reshuffle was carried out based purely on performance," a Shinsegae Group official said. "As the company lies in a critical period for readjustment, we sought drastic change and innovation."

Previously served as a partner of Bain & Company in Seoul and Shanghai offices since 2005, leading consumer products and retail practices, Kang’s focus will be on accelerating the business transformation, including:

  • Improving shopping experience both online and in store
  • Strengthening product range and merchandising, in particular the fresh food category
  • Reviewing cost structure and asset base

Emart said it plans to maintain an ultra low price strategy to draw more customers.

Lotte: sweeping reshuffle

In late December last year, the group has reshuffled nearly 100 senior executives and heads of more than 50 subsidiaries.

It is one of the largest senior official reshuffles in its history, reflecting the group chairman Shin Dong-bin's intention to bring changes and digitalize the businesses to compete in the country’s retail industry.

The group has appointed its Lotte Department Store CEO Kang Hee-tae to head the retail business unit, which includes Lotte Super, Lotte Mart, Lotte ecommerce, health and beauty chain LOHB’s and Lotte Department Store. His predecessor, Lee Won-joon, will retire. The retail business has been the main cash source for the conglomerate. Kang will supervise 14 retail subsidiaries, half of which will have new heads.

Kang is known as an experienced specialist in retail business, especially in ecommerce.


Retail Analysis Asia

Keep up-to-date with the latest retail developments from Asia.

Sign up for our newsletter »