Top-level changes at Shop CJ; CEO Kenny Shin to head back to Korea

MUMBAI: Home shopping ain't an easy business. Definitely not in India. Ask Shop CJ CEO Kenny Shin. The South Korean is slated to catch a flight back to his home country very soon after serving four years and one month at the joint venture between the South Korean home shopping major CJ O Shopping and P5 Asia Holding Investments (Mauritius) Ltd (which belongs to the Providence Equity Partners group). 

Shin calls his movement back to South Korea a routine transfer. "This is something which happens  with our South Korean parent," he told late on the night of 11 March. "We are rotated around in our various operations world wide."

A source, however, had informed earlier in the day that Shin was actually shown the door by the company's board. Along with him, the company CFO Ramakrishnan N was also asked to quit.

"After reviewing last year's performance during its board meeting today, the company has decided to sack two senior officials for having a non-performing year," the source told us. "Its performance has fallen 32 per cent compared to last year."

However, Shin repeatedly denied that anyone was being booted out. "It is a routine transfer, that is all it is. No decision has been taken about our CFO as yet," he stated. "We will be issuing an official statement tomorrow.", however,  managed to get hold of the official communication circulated to Shop CJ employees which has something else to say:  "Mr. N. Ramakrishnan (Ram) has decided to step down as CFO of the Company to pursue other interests. While as CFO, Ram helped the Company establish effective financial systems and controls, and we thank him for his leadership and contribution to the Company, and wish him the best in his future endeavors. The Board has initiated a search to fill the role of CFO for ShopCJ. The changes above are effective immediately."

Shin joined the company in February 2012, from CJ O Shopping, the Korean conglomerate, where he was in a key leadership role, having been with the company since 2002.

Company officials, however, reached out to once again in late May 2016 insisting that there was no sacking at all in March. A senior official stated that Ramakrishnan's departure was entirely his decision and Shin's return to South Korea was simply routine in the larger scheme of CJ O Shopping's management initiatives.

Shop CJ was earlier a joint venture between CJ and broadcast giant Star India. The latter moved out of the partnership and from the home shopping business and in 2015 the channel was re-branded as Shop CJ.

(Earlier posted on 11 March 2016 at 7:43; updated at 11:50 pm; updated on 31 May 2016 at 12:43 am)

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