Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin (L) sits together with his older brother Shin Dong-joo (R) and their mother Hatsuko Shigemitsu during the funeral of their father, Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho, on January 22, 2020. Photo by Jeong Byung-hyuk/UPI News Korea

Lotte chairman’s leadership challenged

A sibling rivalry revives to take control of Lotte Group, South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate, as Chairman Shin Dong-bin’s leadership is challenged.

His older brother Shin Dong-joo said Tuesday that the former Lotte Holdings vice chairman asked the outfit to dismiss Shin Dong-bin as its board member.

Shin Dong-joo claimed that the recent conviction of his younger brother greatly damaged Lotte’s brand image and corporate reputation. Lotte Holdings oversees the group’s confectionery-focused business in Japan. Shin Dong-bin is one of its major shareholders.

Including those who got convicted, nobody took responsibility,” Shin said in a statement. “And Shin Dong-bin took the chairmanship of Lotte Holdings in April, which is not understandable.”

In case his proposal is not accepted during the shareholders’ meeting of Lotte Holdings in June, Shin Dong-joo also plans to bring the case to the court.

Shin Dong-bin was convicted last October related to the graft scandal, which involved former President Park Geun-hye and her confidante Choi Soon-sil, both of whom are imprisoned.

Shin Dong-joo’s announcement came 101 days after his father and Lotte founder Shin Kyuk-ho passed away at the age of 98 early this year.

This is not the first time that the two sons of the late Lotte patriarch duke it off over the control of Lotte, whose businesses include retail, hotel, tourism, and petrochemical.

The sibling rivalry began in the mid-2010s when Shin Dong-joo was ousted from the cross-border enterprise after losing a boardroom fight with his brother.

Shin Dong-joo has attempted to strike back via shareholder motions and lawsuits to little avail, which prompted observers to believe that the sibling feud settled.

Taking issue with the conviction of the Lotte chairman, however, Shin Dong-joo tries again to remove his younger brother from the top.


UPI News Korea provides this article. _ ED.