Lotte chief hints at additional restructuring to survive business slump

2020.01.17 11:33:29 | 2020.01.17 13:04:30

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin이미지 확대

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin

Lotte Group chief hinted more sweeping restructuring after the country’s fifth largest conglomerate experienced twin profit deterioration in mainstay retail and chemical businesses for the first time ever last year, urging employees to cope with rapid changes in both the global and local business landscape with more urgency.

Lotte Group held this year’s first meeting of the senior executives on Wednesday to share business targets for the year and revisit long-term strategies, the group said Thursday. At this year’s meeting, about 100 top executives of Lotte Group affiliates, ranging from retailer to chemical makers were present.

“We need to break out from conventions and become a market game changer…And that is not to sustain growth but to survive at a time when low-growth has become a new normal” Shin Dong-bin, chairman of Lotte Group, said during the Thursday meeting with his top management team members. “A paradigm shift is happening across all business sectors while market challenges are expected to grow only stronger,” referring to lingering uncertainties at home and abroad, spanning from global hegemony war and geopolitical risks to low-birth and rapid aging population.

Lotte Group last year was the sole name in the country’s top 5 conglomerates whose combined market value fell. Shin took the fall in earnings of the group’s mainstay retail and chemical businesses last year as grave concerns because it was the first time in the group’s history for its two pillar business units to tumble in the same year.

The group has been introducing massive rationalization efforts. It replaced 22 chief executive officers and 140 senior executives at the annual executive reshuffle last month.

Shin at the Thursday’s meeting hinted of additional restructuring measures, saying that he plans to close down “any business that does not generate profits.”

By Kim Gi-jung and Cho Jeehyun

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