[THE INVESTOR] Troubled Korean pizza franchise Mr. Pizza is replacing its top management, including the founder’s son, in a move to soothe public anger over its unfair treatment of franchisee owners, according to industry sources on Sept. 12.
MP Group, the franchise owner, plans to hold a shareholders meeting on Oct. 27 to replace Vice Chairman Chung Sun-min, the only son of the group’s founder and former Chairman Chung Woo-hyun.
Former chairman Chung Woo-hyun
Senior Chung stepped down in June amid controversies surrounding his high-handed management style that allegedly led to the suicide of a former Mr. Pizza franchisee operator.
Since his resignation, he has been under investigation for embezzling company money worth 9.1 billion won. He is also accused of unfairly raising his son’s monthly salary from 21 million won to 91 million when the company was financially struggling.
MP Group will also replace the current CEO Choi Byung-min, who is being probed for his role in obstructing businesses of former franchisee owners by opening new Mr. Pizza stores near their shops.
The change in top management comes before a parliamentary inspection is due to start in October over the pizza chain’s unfair business practices. MP Group plans to hire two outside directors as part of its reform efforts.
By Song Seung-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)