Samsung Group ‘s reshuffle is getting wider than expected to refresh its management amid a management vacuum, caused by the absence by Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jay-yong. A first salvo in the upcoming widespread personnel change of the group was the replacement of Samsung Electronics’ three business unit chiefs.
The reshuffle will takes a resemblance to the current Choi Ji-sung-Kwon Oh-hyun management shift from the Lee Hak-soo-Yoon Jong-yong management, done 10 years ago, business sources said. Many top managers who have worked with the ailing Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee will be replaced with juniors in their 50s, they said.
President Kim Ki-nam of Samsung Electronics has been named to head the Device Solutions Business Division and overall management of the Semiconductor Business at Samsung Electronics, replacing Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, who has stepped down. Samsung Electronics President Kim Hyun-suk was tapped to lead the Consumer Electronics Division, replacing President Yoon Boo-keun, while President Koh Dong-jin was appointed to head the IT and Mobile (IM) Business Division, replacing President Shin Jong-kyun.
The average age of Samsung Electronics’ top managers has dropped from 63.3 to 57.
President Kim Ki-nam has been grooming as a replacement at an era of “Post-Kwon Oh-hyun” as he has been with businesses at the Semiconductor Division.
He now oversees the semiconductor foundry business, which debuted in May 2017, the existing memory business and the non-memory business. Kim is considered as a seasoned expert with the semiconductor sector as the president of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, the head of the memory business, chief of the system LSI business, president of Samsung Display, and president of the device solutions business and the overall management of the semiconductor business.
New Consumer Electronics Business Chief Kim was promoted to president at the 2015 regular personnel change. Kim, in charge of the development of TV technologies, has been credited with his leading roles in catapulting Samsung Electronics to top global 3D TV, PDP TV, LCD TV and recent QLED TV markets for the 11th consecutive year.
He is touted as a top developer-cum expert in not only TV but also display sector. Kim is praised for an excellent insight into grasping and realizing what consumers want into new products. While heading the development team at the video display business, he gave briefings on all new products and answered all questions.
New IM Business Chief Koh is reputed for overcoming a crisis caused by a faulty battery of Galaxy Note 7 and making Galaxy S8 a sensation product. Koh was promoted to senior executive vice president in charge of the development team of the IM business in 2011 before he was elevated to head the development office of the IM business.
The latest top manager reshuffle may be construed as Samsung Electronics’ move to “catch two rabbits with one stone” to not only stabilize management, but also infuse structural reforms, according to business analysts.
One of the eye-catchers at the reshuffle is President Lee Sang-hoon, who resigned from the CFO of Samsung Electronics, but was tapped as the chairman of the board of directors, replacing Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun. Lee with a stint as the CFO with the board of directors has a three-year term. He is expected to serve as the figurehead of Samsung Electronics, which is predicted to have the board of directors wiled great management rein. Words has been circulating, including the one on the establishment of a CEO recommendation committee like financial subsidiaries in which introduced similar committees in 2013.
New top managers are now tasked for how to minimize a management vacuum cased by the absence of Vice Chairman Lee Jay-yong. They have to help Samsung Electronics, one of the global top IT technology companies, establish future strategies and make aggressive investments to brace for the future.
Executive Vice President Baek Soo-hyun and Vice President Kim Nam-young, all with Samsung Electronics’ Communications Team, have been promoted to senior executive vice president and executive vice president, respectively.