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Lotte’s Next Gen: Shin Yoo Yeol’s Rise to Power and Military Duty Dilemma

Lotte’s 3rd Generation, Shin Yoo Yeol, Promoted to Executive Vice President
Faces Military Duty Exemption on the 30th
Active Management Succession Moves

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At the end of last year, Shin Yoo Yeol, Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong Bin’s eldest son and third-generation owner, was promoted from vice president to executive vice president. Entering the New Year, Executive Vice President Shin will celebrate his 38th birthday on the 30th, accelerating his management succession. It is said that he will have an extraordinary birthday within the business community.

Born on March 30, 1986, to Chairman Shin Dong Bin and Japanese woman Manami Shigemitsu, Executive Vice President Shin Yoo Yeol is of mixed Korean-Japanese descent and currently holds Japanese citizenship.

He was born in London while Chairman Shin worked at the Nomura Securities UK branch. Two years later, he returned to Japan, attended prestigious private elementary and middle schools, graduated from Keio University, and completed an MBA program at Columbia University in the United States. In 2015, he married a Japanese woman, just like his father.

He completed his studies in Japan and the United States and also married a Japanese woman in Japan.

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However, it isn’t easy to succeed in business in Korea with Japanese citizenship. He had to hurry up with the naturalization process, but the military enlistment issue was a stumbling block.

As time passed, Executive Vice President Shin became 38 years old.

According to Chapter 10 of the Military Service Act (Completion of Mandatory Military Service) in Korea, enlistment for active duty service or call-up of social service personnel or alternative service personnel shall expire as of the time the relevant person attains 36 years of age. However, according to Article 9 of the Nationality Act, those who have acquired the nationality of the Republic of Korea by obtaining permission to recover nationality are exempted from the age of 38.

In other words, after March 30, Executive Vice President Shin’s military duty will disappear.

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Therefore, Executive Vice President Shin is expected to acquire Korean citizenship this year.

According to the industry, Executive Vice President Shin has been focusing on Korean language classes before acquiring Korean citizenship, and his skills have improved to the point where he can communicate normally.

Chairman Shin Dong Bin also acquired Korean citizenship at 41, when his military duty disappeared. At that time, military duty was exempted from the age of 40. Afterward, he focused on studying business-level Korean and succeeded in his father’s business, surpassing his brother, Chairman Shin Dong Joo of SDJ Corporation.

The business community is paying attention to Executive Vice President Shin Yoo Yeol, who is following in his father’s footsteps.

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He has been expanding his business footprint by showing his presence by accompanying Chairman Shin Dong Bin to numerous external events or through his solo activities.

At the Lotte Mall Vietnam business trip last September, Chairman Shin said, “(Executive Vice President Shin) plans to look over domestic and overseas business sites, including distribution, in the future,” implying that he will focus on new business areas for now.

Last January, he visited the Lotte Data Communication Company at the world’s largest electronics and IT exhibition, CES 2024, held in Las Vegas, USA. He toured the company’s services and solutions, including the Metaverse platform “Caliburs” and the electric vehicle charger “EVSIS.”

Since the end of last year, he has been in charge of the Future Growth Office, which is responsible for the group’s future growth engines and new business excavation, and he is also serving as the head of the Global Strategy Department of Lotte Biologics.

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On the 5th, he was appointed as an executive director of Lotte Biologics. This is the first time Executive Vice President Shin has become a registered executive in a Korean Lotte Group affiliate. Since then, he has been showing active succession moves, such as accompanying Chairman Shin Dong Bin to the 7-Eleven product exhibition.

Now, the focus is on when he will receive the transfer of shares from Chairman Shin.

As of December 31, 2023, Chairman Shin Dong Bin is the largest individual shareholder with 13.02% in Lotte Holdings, the holding company of Lotte Group. Only Chairman Shin’s older sister, former Lotte Scholarship Foundation Director Shin Young Ja, her daughter Jang Jeong An, and younger sister Shin Yu Mi are listed as shareholders.

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