The heads of 37 Lotte Group affiliates expressed their support for Chairman Shin Dong-bin amid an escalating power struggle between father and son. Shin Dong-bin is the younger son of Shin Kyuk-ho, the founder of the Lotte Group.
Noh Byung-yong, head of Lotte Corp., made a statement to this effect after a meeting with the heads of 37 Lotte affiliates in Seoul. The statement read, “We respect founder Shin Kyuk-ho, who has contributed to the economic development of South Korea, but we support Chairman Shin Dong-bin, who has led Lotte Group and led management feats.”
In Tokyo, Takayuki Tsukuda, chief executive of Lotte Holdings Co., the holding company of Japan-founded Lotte Group, also expressed his support for Shin Dong-bin.
“Lotte Group's dual management system in Korea and in Japan is very stable,” Tsukuda told reporters in a press conference, adding, “We will not allow the separation of Lotte Group.”
Tsukuda has managed the Japanese units since 2009, while Dong-bin has focused more on the Korean business.
The family feud has been escalating since last week, when older brother Dong-joo tried to throw his younger brother off the board of Lotte Holdings at the behest of his father. Lotte Holdings is based in Japan.
The next day, younger brother Dong-bin, who virtually controls both the South Korean and Japanese operations, countered by dismissing his father as general chairman of the holding company.
The three family members had a short meeting on Monday in Seoul, but failed to resolve the conflict.