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South Korean multinational conglomerate, Lotte Group’s appointment of McKinsey in a downsizing project has raised the eyebrows of some observers. Surprise about the appointment comes on the back of McKinsey’s alleged poor track record advising in the country. In the 2000s for example, LG reportedly paid $30million for McKinsey to advise it to back conventional feature phones rather than smart phones, while it also advised Samsung Life Insurance to halve its sales force in the early 1980s. A former Samsung executive reportedly says: “I think McKinsey tried to apply a U.S. model to Korea. It might work well in the United States but not in Korea.” A Lotte Group statement said: “A few consulting companies are delving into the restructuring of the policy headquarters and McKinsey is just one of them," said the official. "And it is up to us whether or not to accept the reports and McKinsey is merely one of the advisors."

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