Three months have passed since the arrest and imprisonment of Shin Dong-bin, chairman of the Lotte Group on Feb. 14. The long absence of the chairman is beginning to hurt the group’s overseas businesses which amount to 10 trillion won.
Lotte Group will hold a strategy workshop on expanding its global business next month with the participation of key officials, including Hwang Gag-kyu, vice chairman of Lotte Holdings, heads of Lotte affiliates in Indonesia, the CEOs of each affiliate of the Lotte Group, and key figures of Lotte Holdings.
The workshop is the second of its kind after the first one held in Vietnam in the third quarter of last year. It will focus on business strategies in Indonesia.
However, it is unclear whether the participants in the group would be able to make important decisions, given that chairman Shin has been the final decision maker.
Industry analysts say Shin’s absence is making the group unable to promoted overseas projects that require large-scale investments and strategic decisions.
Lotte is currently conducting or pushing forward with overseas projects amounting to US$10 billion in the US, China, Europe, Vietnam, and Indonesia among others.
There is concern that the absence of the final decision maker will stall such overseas projects. Before being imprisoned, Shin actively visited overseas project sites, spending more than half of a year abroad.
"Shin’s absence is hurting the group, as he has made decisions after checking project sites in person and directly meeting with top leaders of the countries where the group operates," said a high-ranking official of Lotte.