October. 8. 2021
National Assembly audits fail to summon retail CEOs
|Jang Kee-hwan, CEO of Coupang Eats, speaks during an audit organized by the National Assembly’s Land, Infrastructure and Transport Committee on Friday. Yonhap|
By Kim Jae-heun
CEOs of large retail companies here did not show up for annual National Assembly audits, where they might have faced tough questions about controversial issues their companies were involved in during the past year.
Coupang CEO Kang Han-seung justified his absence citing health concerns and was thus able to avoid questions regarding allegations of unfair business practices, such as his company abusing its power over contractors.
LG Household & Healthcare (LG H&H) CEO Cha Suk-yong also ignored questions from the Fair Trade Commission on October 5 where he was supposed to talk about an issue of unfair trade practices regarding his franchises. . Cha said the case in question is currently on trial and therefore cannot comment on it.
The name of McDonald’s Korea Managing Director Antoni Martinez has been removed from the witness list compiled by the National Assembly’s Health and Welfare Committee. Representative Lee Jong-seong of the main conservative opposition People Power Party said he decided to leave Martinez aside after McDonald’s Korea pledged to take action to prevent a recurrence of several recent incidents that violated the public confidence.
According to a report by KBS, the American fast food chain used expired hamburger buns and tortillas at a restaurant in Seoul last year. McDonald’s Korea punished the branch store manager and a part-time employee, but took no further action. The police are still investigating the case. In addition to this incident, McDonald’s Korea has violated the Food Hygiene Law 76 times in the past three years.
Shin Dong-won, chairman of Nongshim, and Ham Young-joon, chairman of Ottogi, who had previously been called as witnesses to be audited by the Committee on Agriculture, Food, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, were also exempted from questioning. The two companies did attend the executive audit on their behalf, after promising to pursue plans to support mutual growth of their companies and their farmers.