Shin Kyuk-ho, the 94-year-old ailing founder of Lotte Group, a retail group active both in Korea and Japan, was stripped off his last board seat.
The board of directors of Lotte Aluminum Co. decided on Wednesday not to extend the term of the elder Shin who had founded the company in 1966 as Dongbang Alumi Industry Co.
The Lotte affiliate’s decision was based on the recent appointment of a legal guardian for Shin. In June, the top court ruled that Shin had limited mental capacity to work due to illness and age and designated a local law firm, The Sun, to be his guardian.
Maintaining his post on the board was deemed problematic when he lacked the mental abilities to make major decisions, according to the group.
The Lotte patriarch has been gradually retiring from the board of major affiliates in the last couple of years. He will continue to serve as the group’s honorary chairman, a Lotte official said.
Shin lost his board seat at Lotte Confectionary Co. and Hotel Lotte Co. last year. In June, he also left the board of Lotte Holdings Co., the Japanese holdings entity that controls the Lotte empire.
Shin founded Lotte in Japan as a chewing gum manufacturer in 1948. Since then, the group has grown into Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate and is now one of the most well-known corporate names in Korea and Japan, spanning 94 companies that generate more than $88 billion in annual revenue.
By Sohn Il-seon
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