The Korea Herald


Caffe Bene appoints new CEO

By 배지숙

Published : Sept. 23, 2015 - 18:15

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Coffee shop franchise operator Caffe Bene on Wednesday appointed Choi Seung-woo as the company’s new CEO.

Choi, who graduated from Seoul National University and has served as CEO of Woongjin Food, has been commissioned to put Caffe Bene on the global map. Founder and chairman Kim Sun-kwon, who had worked as the CEO, will now focus on projecting the overall direction and vision to open 10,000 outlets around the world by 2020.

“In order to bring up Caffe Bene to the level of global franchise corporations, we needed a professional manager who can establish a solid system. Choi is the perfect fit to make Caffe Bene a representative brand of Korea that will last for 100 years,” Kim said. 

Choi’s appointment comes a few days after it was revealed that the company’s Chinese business suffered a net loss of 240 million won ($202,000), while operations in Korea reported a net loss of 7.49 billion won last year.

Caffe Bene was established in 2008 and soon spawned across the country, targeting those who wanted a bit more “Korean-ness” in their cup of coffee, compared to global franchises such as Starbucks.

However, business hit a snag when the government heavily regulated its new location searches and business diversification into other dining projects to protect surrounding individual cafes and diner owners.

The company finally sold the headquarters building in southern Seoul for 36 billion won last year.

By Bae Ji-sook(