The Korea Herald


Lotte chairman highest-paid chaebol leader in H1

By Im Eun-byel

Published : Aug. 15, 2023 - 15:17

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Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin (Lotte Group) Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin (Lotte Group)

Lotte Group Chairman Shin Dong-bin was the highest-paid business leader in Korea for the first half of this year, regulatory filings posted Monday by major firms in Korea showed.

Shin received total compensation of 11.2 billion won ($8.37 million) from the retail giant's six affiliates in the January-June period, up from 10.2 billion won tallied a year earlier. He maintained the highest-paid business leader title for a second consecutive year.

The wage reflects Shin's management performance, leadership, ethical corporate management and other contributions to the group, according to the filing.

Doosan Group Chairman Park Jeong-won, who was paid 6.77 billion won, came in a distant second, while LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo was third at 5.99 billion won.

Hanwha Group Chairman Kim Seung-youn was paid 5.4 billion won, while his son Kim Dong-kwan, Hanwha Solutions president, received 4.6 billion won.

Hyundai Motor Group Executive Chair Chung Euisun took 3.25 billion won in wages, matching the same period last year.

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong did not receive any wages. He has not taken a salary since 2017, but receives dividends from Samsung affiliates.

Meanwhile, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee was paid 1.18 billion won. Lee Jae-yong’s sister Lee Boo-jin, head of Hotel Shilla, received 799 million won, marking a significant drop from 2.47 billion won last year.

While SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won was paid 3 billion won, the group's top executives were among the highest-paid CEOs during the first six months of this year.

Cho Dae-sik, chairman of the SK Supex Pursuit Council, Park Jung-ho, vice chairman and CEO at SK hynix, SK Holdings CEO Jang Dong-hyun and Yu Jeong-joon, a high-ranking official at the holdings company, all received more than 5 billion won in the period.

For tech firms, Kakao's former CEO Namkoong Whon earned 9.68 billion won by offloading 9.43 billion won from company shares, exercising his stock option. Namkoong resigned in October, taking responsibility for a service failure of KakaoTalk, South Korea's No. 1 messenger app.

Tech giant Naver's founder and Global Investment Officer Lee Hae-jin received 1.24 billion won, while CEO Choi Soo-yeon received 1.04 billion won.

Among financial circles, Hyundai Card Vice Chairman and CEO Chung Tae-young was the highest paid figure, having earned 2.43 billion won in the first half of 2023.

Kim Ik-rae, Daou Kiwoom Group’s former executive chairman, was paid 2.89 billion won, including severance pay of 2.26 billion won he received when he stepped down in May, following stock fraud allegation involving SG Securities Korea.

Among Korea's top four major financial groups -- Shinhan, KB, Hana and Woori -- Hana Financial Group Chairman Ham Young-joo was the highest paid, receiving 1.8 billion won in the period.