Lee to take charge of the management of the electronics maker along with Samsung Vice Chmn. Kwon
Samsung Electronics Chief Operating Officer Lee Jae-yong, the eldest son of Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee, has been promoted to vice chairman of the Korean electronics giant, solidifying his position over management.
The business group carried out its annual massive reshuffle of presidents on Dec. 5, promoting Samsung Electronics COO Lee and Samsung Life Insurance President Park Keun-hee to vice chairman as well as seven others to president while transferring eight others. The latest personnel change promoted executives averaging 54.4 years old, about three years younger than last year’s promotions, indicating an acceleration of a shift to a younger generation.
The junior Lee’s promotion to vice chairman comes 21 years after he began his career at Samsung Electronics as general manager. He has so far climbed the hierarchy of Samsung Electronics by serving as assistant managing director, managing director, executive vice president, vice president, and COO. Lee and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun will be in charge of the management of the group’s electronics unit.
Explaining the background for the junior Lee’s promotion, Samsung Electronics said he has been credited with leading roles in making the electronics unit’s record achievements, and his promotion is designed to give him more maneuvering room over management. Lee as been praised for his great contribution toward maintaining the lead in the smartphone, semiconductor, and display segments.
The business group partly reshuffled its control tower, the Future Strategy Office, promoting and transferring Lee Sang-hoon, chief of the Office’s 1st Strategy Team, to president in charge of management support at Samsung Electronics, and Lim Dae-gi, vice president of the Future Strategy Office, to president of Cheil Worldwide. In return, Kim Jong-jung, president in charge of device solutions at Samsung Electronics has been transferred to the position of chief of the Office’s 1st Strategy Team, replacing Lee.
Lee Don-ju, in charge of strategic marketing at Samsung Electronics’ Mobile Marketing Division, has been promoted to president for the successful marketing of the Galaxy series. Park Won-kyu and Park Dae-young have been promoted to president of Samsung Corning Precision Materials and president of Samsung Heavy Industries, respectively.
Lee In-yong, chief of the Samsung Future Strategy Office Communication Team, and Hong Won-pyo, chief of Samsung Electronics Media Solution Center, each have been promoted to president. Lee once served as a reporter and anchor of the MBC-TV network while Hong once worked for KT.
Industry analysts say the junior Lee’s promotion may be construed as giving him more say over management, as he has been groomed as the virtual leader of Samsung Electronics in the upcoming post-Chairman Lee Kun-hee era, departing from a position of learning lessons from such virtuosos as Vice Chairman Park Ji-sung and Vice Chairman Kwon.
GROUP CHAIRMAN LEE’S 25TH ANNIVERSARY AT THE HELM
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee delivered his video message at a ceremony celebrating the 25th anniversary of his inauguration at Hoam Art Hall in downtown Seoul on Nov. 30 in which he revealed a vision of rising to a super world-class company. Lee appealed for his executives and staff members to renew their determination for the future, saying, “We still have a long way ahead, so let’s make a new start with a challenging spirit for a great future.”
Chairman Lee wore smiles toward the cameramen’s flashes during the ceremony, but he was apparently grim-faced with mixed feelings. Since he took office as Samsung Group chairman at the age of 46 in 1987, Lee has seen his conglomerate make tremendous achievements °™ a 39-fold jump in sales and a 303-fold surge in stock market capitalization and rise to ninth in the world in terms of global brand value. Lee has managed to overcome numerous hardships and challenges, but he is still haunted by such issues as an inheritance lawsuit with his elder brother Lee Maeng-hee and the ongoing intellectual property lawsuit with Apple.