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December 17, 2018

Samsung likely to maintain status quo in year-end exec reshuffle

PUBLISHED : December 03, 2018 - 15:31

UPDATED : December 03, 2018 - 15:55

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[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Electronics, which is expected to carry out an annual reshuffle of its top brass this week, is likely to maintain status quo without making any drastic changes, according to industry sources on Dec. 3.

Its decision is reportedly due to concerns about the slowing chip and smartphone markets next year while the firm plans to beef up its capability in emerging businesses -- artificial intelligence, automotive parts and connected technology.


Koh Dong-jin, CEO of Samsung’s smartphone division.



Samsung CEOs Kim Ki-nam, Kim Hyun-seok and Koh Dong-jin were tapped to head the semiconductor, home appliance and smartphone divisions, respectively, last year.

Although the semiconductor division has enjoyed robust sales, the other divisions, especially the smartphone unit, have lost luster due to fierce competition with US and Chinese rivals.

“The tech giant will likely take a conservative approach in the upcoming reshuffle with few changes to the current executive trio in the face of anticipated risks in the chip sector next year,” an industry source said.

Analysts have warned of sluggish demand and a price fall for DRAM and NAND flash memory chips next year.

As of the third quarter, Samsung ruled the global DRAM and NAND chip segments with its market share reaching 43.7 percent and 40.8 percent, respectively.

After announcing promotions of C-level positions, Samsung is expected to conduct a reshuffle of junior executives. Last year, it promoted 221 executives -- the largest since 2014. Nearly half of the promoted officials were from the tech giant’s chip division.

As a large portion of Samsung’s profits came from the semiconductor division -- around 80 percent -- the number of promotions at the unit is expected to be the largest among its three main divisions.

Meanwhile, Samsung Group’s financial affiliates, including Samsung Life Insurance, Samsung Card and Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance, have minimized the scale of their recent annual executive reshuffle as well with most CEOs keeping their seats.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@hearldcorp.com)

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