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Lotte kicks off emergency management committee after chief's arrest

2018/02/14 15:54

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SEOUL, Feb. 14 (Yonhap) -- Lotte Group, a retail-to-chemicals conglomerate, has launched an emergency management committee to handle key decision-making issues after its chief was jailed for his involvement in a corruption scandal, the company said Wednesday.

On Tuesday, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was imprisoned immediately after a Seoul court sentenced him to two and a half years in prison for engaging in unlawful activities to seek business favors.

In the influence-peddling scandal that rocked the country last year, former President Park Geun-hye was impeached in March and is undergoing a trial for taking bribes through her friend, abuse of power and coercion.

Shin's arrest has effectively created a leadership vacuum at the country's fifth-largest conglomerate by sales, as it is striving to put operations in China back on track after being hit hard by a diplomatic row between Seoul and Beijing last year.

Hwang Kag-gyu, chief executive and vice chairman of Lotte Holding Co., will serve as acting chairman to keep the retail conglomerate's businesses in line and minimize fallout, the company said.

Lotte will decide on whether to appeal the court's "very regrettable" decision after reviewing the court's ruling in a careful manner, it said.

This photo shows Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin (L) and Hwang Kag-gyu, chief executive and vice chairman of Lotte Holding Co. (Yonhap) This photo shows Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin (L) and Hwang Kag-gyu, chief executive and vice chairman of Lotte Holding Co. (Yonhap)

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