“The return of the elite Lotte Man…Park Joon-hyuk talks about the front boudoir and his vision.
“He is a person who can become a manager one day.”
This was the assessment of Park Joon-hyuk (43), the new manager of the Lotte Giants, who was appointed on the 1st. Since joining the Lotte Group in 2007, Park has demonstrated his capabilities by working in key positions within the organization, including international business, marketing operations, and public relations. Fluent in both English and Japanese, he played an integral role in signing the business partnership with the Chiba Lotte Marines, and also showed a keen eye for scouting foreign players.
Although he is not a player, he has a strong understanding of baseball as he attended the prestigious Busan High School. He was able to operate objectively and smoothly in team-related tasks. He also served as a bridge to the Lotte Group, 바카라사이트 acting as a communication channel between the baseball team and the group.
He was an elite employee of the Giants baseball team, and although he could be considered cold at times, his coolness led to his objective work ability, and he was considered a candidate for the next general manager. It came as a surprise to many when he announced his resignation last year, having worked his way up through the ranks of the organization. He has since pursued his entrepreneurial dreams and this year took over as CEO of a trading company centered on coffee franchises.
However, he never forgot his love for Lotte baseball as he continued to visit the ballpark after leaving the company. Even as a member of the executive team, he was always thinking, “How can we become stronger? This ‘elite Lotte man’ took the helm.
The appointment of the 43-year-old was an unconventional decision by Lotte Group. However, the group decided that he was the right person to organize the chaotic situation after the resignation of Sung Min-kyu and repair the failures of the past four years.
In the official press release announcing the appointment, Lotte said, “As a former Lotte Giants player, Park Jun-hyuk is expected to create a development-based squad and a competitive front,” adding, “He will systematize the development system to make the team a consistent powerhouse, and actively communicate with the players and exchange with overseas clubs.”
When contacted after the announcement of his appointment, Park Jun-hyuk said, “I interviewed for the position with the group in early October. During the interview, I told them how I saw the club and what I thought the direction of the club should be,” he explained. Since then, the ‘Park Jun-hyuk head coach rumor’ has been circulating. He continued to communicate with new coach Kim Tae-hyung, who was officially appointed on the 20th of last month, and formed a consensus on the composition of the coaching staff.
He said, “Coach (Kim Tae-hyung) is a reasonable person. We spoke on the phone today. We talk a lot and discuss a lot. There were no unilateral decisions. We went through a process of thinking and discussing together. I also actively expressed my opinion and we reached a mutual agreement.”
However, Park Jun-hyuk emphasized that the club needs to strengthen the front office to become stronger and more professional. As he worked his way up from a new employee to the head coach, he thought about what and how to improve.
He said, “We usually talk about the players a lot. But I was thinking more about strengthening the front desk. I’m probably the first person to work my way up from a recruit to a general manager. I’ve been in charge of various departments, so I know what they do and how they work,” he said. “I’m thinking about improving and streamlining their capabilities. When I get to work, I’ll take stock again, but if necessary, I’ll consider reassigning people and hiring from outside,” he continued.
“At the end of the day, the front office has to be a professional organization with capabilities. Recruiting and training players, developing coaches, and bringing in good coaches are all done by the front office,” he said, adding, “We are aiming to strengthen the individual capabilities of the front office because it cannot be changed by the power of one person.” He reiterated that the team can only be strong if the front office is professional.
Creating a sustainable strong team was also the mantra of former head coach Sung Min-kyu, but he had to step down after failing to achieve tangible results over the past four years. Although he seemed to provide a clear direction and vision for the club, this vision was not very solid. Park emphasized the importance of providing a clear direction and vision again and creating a culture that is unique to Lotte.
As he has worked within the organization for a long time, he is expected to provide a more detailed and clear direction. He said, “Our club has been changing. It’s not a culture that changes just because people change. The culture changes as the people change, so I didn’t know how to set a standard,” he said, adding, “The culture and tradition shouldn’t change just because the coach changes and the general manager changes. We need to create our own culture that we can keep no matter who comes in.”
In the end, it comes down to nurturing. “In Korea, players are picked from amateur scouts and developed in the second team, and the percentage of players who end up playing in the first team is very high,” Park said. “We have no choice but to nurture them and let them grow, but it’s a problem if the method moves depending on the person. Even if I’m not there, I’m thinking about creating a team centered on development, but I need to make it more concrete. The way we develop players should also be manualized. This is the way to build a sustainable powerhouse.”
The search for a new head coach began in early October, and after Kim Tae-hyung was appointed, Park Jun-hyuk’s influence grew. However, Lotte Group was more cautious and thorough in its vetting. Even though the group knew Park too well, they didn’t skimp on the verification process. This time, they saw the importance of having a manager who leads the club’s life.
Park is aware of the weight of the position. But he also has the confidence to do it well. He prepared for it. He said, “I think I’m good at self-objectification. I think I know what I can do well and what I can’t do well, and I think about those things a lot,” but he also said, “I know the weight of this position and I worry about it. But I thought I could do it, so I came back,” he said encouragingly.
Park, who has cleared his name as the franchise CEO, will return to work at his old office on February 2 to begin rebuilding and reorganizing Lotte.