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Resignation of Shin Gyuk-ho

Posted June. 26, 2017 07:19,   

Updated June. 26, 2017 07:34


Do not disregard chewing gums as they are cheap. Shin Gyuk-ho, the founder and honorary chairman of Lotte Group, entered the chewing gum business in 1948 in Japan and that changed his destiny. At that time, the chewing gum business was growing rapidly and its profit margin was close to 50%. In other words, the chairman built hotels and department stores by selling gums. When you read this article, you may automatically think of the phrase "the best chewing gum is" and soon answer to yourself ‘Lotte gum’ with an incredibly addictive melody of a popular ad that is remembered by everyone.

The chairman went to Japan alone at the age of 20 to study and make money in 1941 during the end of Japanese colonial era. He wanted to study literature but majored in Chemical Engineering at Waseda University to avoid the conscription. Lotte, the name of the company, was named after Charlotte, the female character of Goethe's The Sorrows of Young Werther. He loved the book and Charlotte was pronounced as Char-lot-te in Japanese. Some argued that the chairman selected the name targeting young women. The main target of chewing gums also liked the book as then Japanese young women were considered as hyperemotional due to the defeat of Japan.

Chairman Shin was able to run his business in Korea, his homeland, after the normalization of diplomatic relations between Korea and Japan in 1965. It has been said that he lived in Japan and stayed in Korea in every odd month. He and his first Japanese wife have two sons. Shin Dong-joo, the eldest son, only speaks Japanese and his second son, Shin Dong-bin, speaks Korean as a second language. The chairman is well known for not exposing himself to the media. Lotte Group is deemed to be closed and its social engagement is not noticeable. What does Korea mean to him?

He left his post as board director of Lotte’s holding company in Japan on Saturday. It is a holding company of Korean-Japanese retail giant Lotte Group. Hence, his resignation means that he will officially take his hands off from the group. Peter Drucker, the father of business consulting, said, “The final test of greatness in a CEO is how well he chooses a successor and whether he can step aside and let the successor run the company.” One thing for sure is that he failed to pass his final test as he caused the strife of princes with his mind in fog.