South Korea

First female CEO in South Korea's grocery industry is resigning

Lim Il-soon, chief executive of South Korean retailer HomePlus, is stepping down after leading the business for about three and a half years. She invoked personal reasons.

Posted on Jan 26 ,11:07

First female CEO in South Korea's grocery industry is resigning

Lim Il-soon, the first female that become CEO in the grocery industry of South Korea has decided to resign after three and a half years spent with HomePlus retail chain. Appointed in October 2017, Lim was the first female CEO in the grocery industry in the country. Homeplus said Lim has brought many positive transformations for the company:

- Leading a people-centred culture: in 2019 Lim converted over 15,000 contract employees to permanent employment. This makes 99% of Homeplus’ 23,000 workers permanent employees, whilst its rivals rely more heavily on contract workers
- Strengthening the online business: Lim used a number of outlets as fulfillment centers in areas where demand for online orders was high, so customers could purchase items online and pick them up at the nearby branch
- Launched Homeplus Special stores: combining the advantages of warehouse stores with supermarkets. This new format has attracted customer attention.
Lim offered to resign over personal matters in the second half of 2020. Homeplus only recently accepted her resignation in January 2021.
"Lim has deep insight in retail business and based on her excellent strategy, she turned Homeplus into a future retail company. She has already prepared a business plan for 2021 to minimize the impact of her vacant position when she leaves," a Homeplus official said, quoted by IGD Asia. Homeplus has yet to find a new leader and it is currently talking with several candidates.

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