New boss for Homeplus

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New boss for Homeplus



Big supermarket chain Homeplus appointed Kim Sang-hyun as its new CEO Wednesday as the retailer seeks to rebound from stagnant sales.

Outgoing CEO Do Sung-hwan will head Homeplus’s charity foundation.

The management shuffle is the first major personnel change after the chain was acquired from Britain’s Tesco by a consortium led by private equity firm MBK Partners in September.

Kim Sang-hyun, whose English name is Sam Kim, formerly served as a vice president of U.S. consumer goods maker Procter & Gamble.

Most of his career revolved around the U.S. retail giant. He took the helm of Korea’s P&G operations from 2003 to 2008. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with majors in political science and economics.

Kim has the challenging task of steering the company out of a slump.

In 2014, Homeplus posted annual sales of 8.57 trillion won ($7.3 billion), a 4.04 percent decrease from the previous year. Operating profit also plunged 38.9 percent to 182 billion won in 2014 from 298 billion won in 2013.

Former and current executives of Homeplus were also slapped with travel bans and investigated last year over allegations that personal information collected during prize giveaways was sold to insurance companies.

The CEO also needs to cope with strained relations with the company’s union, which is skeptical about management involvement by the private equity firm.

Homeplus said that Kim contributed to turning a profit at P&G’s operations in Southeast Asia.

“Kim took the lead to streamline the business in the region and sales quadrupled in four years,” the company said in a statement.


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