Ha Seok-joo, CEO of Lotte E&C, long-term CEO tenure of 6 years

announced his intention to resign before his term ends in March next year
Industry “It has nothing to do with financial difficulties caused by real estate PF”
The successor is expected to be from the holding company, to be decided by the board of directors

Ha Seok-joo, CEO of Lotte E&C. [사진 롯데건설]

Ha Seok-joo, CEO of Lotte E&C, expressed his gratitude and ended his six-year journey as boss. According to Lotte E&C on the 22nd, CEO Ha expressed his resignation last week. Representative Ha’s original term was due to end in March next year, so he expressed his intention to resign in advance.

An industry insider said, “Lotte E&C CEO Ha Seok-joo expressed his resignation last week, but it was postponed. However, I understand that he expressed his intention to resign again.”

In the construction industry, the resignation of CEO Ha is believed to be related to the recent financial difficulties caused by the financing of the Lotte E&C (PF) real estate project.

Lotte E&C made a paid-up capital increase of 200 billion won on the 18th of last month, and Lotte Chemical borrowed 500 billion won in the same month. This month, Lotte Fine Chemical and Lotte Home Shopping decided to borrow 300 billion won and 100 billion won, respectively, for three months. On the 18th of this month, he borrowed a total of 350 billion won by Hana Bank and Standard Chartered Bank Korea.

According to Korea Credit Status, Lotte E&C’s contingent liabilities had increased at 6,749.1 billion won as of October 21. Among them, 3.1 trillion won will mature in the fourth quarter of this year. Lotte E&C plans to respond to the real estate PF, due to mature within the year, with funds raised through borrowing and cash equivalents it owns.

Ha, along with Lim Byeong-yong, vice chairman and CEO of GS E&C, is considered one of the longest-serving CEOs in the construction industry. CEO Ha became CEO of Lotte E&C in March 2017 and was promoted to president in January 2018. Since then, he has been re-recognized in two executive appointments. However, with about four months left until the end of this term, he announced his intention to resign and resigned from his position.

CEO Ha, born in 1958, graduated from Yongmun High School and the Department of Accounting of Dankook University, and received a master’s degree in Accounting from Korea University Graduate School. Having joined Lotte Chilsung Beverage in 1983, he is a genuine ‘Lotte Man’ who has worked for the Lotte Group for over 40 years. CEO Ha moved from Lotte Group’s audit team to Lotte Construction in 2001 and served as head of the Management Support Headquarters and Head of the Housing Business Headquarters.

Lotte E&C’s board of directors will decide on handling CEO Ha’s resignation and appointing a successor. Park Hyeon-cheol, the head of the Management Improvement Office (president) of Lotte Holdings, is mentioned as the successor president, and it is said that there is a high possibility that a holding company official will come.

However, it is known that Lotte Group did not rule out the possibility of a ‘third person’ being appointed as the successor president until the final decision of the board of directors. Meanwhile, Lotte Group’s regular executive personnel announcement and organizational reorganization are scheduled to take place this week at the earliest.

Reporter Lee Seung-hoon [email protected]

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