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Mr. Suh has been selected as 'CEO of the year'

2002-12-06

This year was full of awards and honors for Suh Kyung-bae(age 39), a model case CEO of Amore Pacific. He has been recognized as the Korean representative for ‘Asian leader of the next generation’ by WEF and received various awards as the ‘Best Company’ and the ‘Best CEO’ in marketing, environment, global vision, etc. In the annual ‘CEO of the year’ award presented by ‘Hankyung Business’, Suh was mentioned as the ‘noticeable CEO’ and in 2002, selected as the ‘CEO of the year’. The reason Suh is gathering such attention is because he enabled the company to continue developing as a company specializing in cosmetics. Established in 1945, Amore Pacific is both in name and in reality, Korea’s leading cosmetic company, a firm No.1 with leading technology, marketing and distribution. With the structural regulation that was carried out in early 1995, Amore Pacific prepared the foundation for a 2nd leap forward. The structural regulation that was directed by Suh rearranged the organization to concentrate only on ‘beauty and health’, setting the company’s direction as a cosmetic company. After the structural regulation process, the company continued to grow smoothly with little effect from the economic environment. The mighty brand power of ‘Sul Wha Soo’ with annual sales over 200 billion KRW, ‘Laneige’, ‘IOPE’ and ‘Hera’, each brand with annual sales over 100 billion KRW, are the biggest strengths that enable Amore Pacific to be the absolute leader in the Korean market. The sales revenue of one brand is equal to a medium sized company. In 2000, the sales was 793 billion KRW and in 2001, 971.3 billion KRW. This year, Amore Pacific achieved 85% of last year’s sales in Q3 with 825.6 billion KRW. Suh’s ultimate goal is not to be the leader in Korea, but to gain the competitive edge as a cosmetic company, to become an owner of a brand that is within top 10 worldwide. His most important project recently is to develop a global brand that is equal to brands such as Chanel and Lancome. Globalization has been Amore Pacific’s goal for some time and 1995 has been proclaimed as the ‘year of globalization’. Amore Pacific entered the French market with perfume and this year, completed the construction of cosmetic plant in Shanghai. Laneige is the major brand manufactured in the Shanghai factory and the products are sold at department stores in Beijing and Shanghai. He has been developing a new brand ‘Amore Pacific’ as a global brand competing with other world-class selective cosmetics brands. Currently there are business entities established in the US, France and Japan and he is planning to open the first retail shop in New York in the year of 2003. Furthermore, he is well known with his innovative management style. Last July, he proposed employees get rid of hierarchical titles. All the employees including him call each other by name not by his title, which are very unusual in the Korean work environment. Mr. Suh is the second son of Suh Sung-whan, the founder of Amore Pacific; however he is more likely to be understood as a professional CEO. His profound knowledge on various subjects including history motivates employees to put more efforts on gaining new theory and information. The long term goal is to be the number 1 brand in personal care and become the absolute leader in the green tea industry and to expand the green tea market in Korea and in cosmetics, to grow into one of world’s top 10 companies.