Huge Personnel
Shake-up at Samsung

Chairman Lee Soo-bin takes over as head of the biz group, Vice Chairman Lee Yoon-woo named as CEO of Samsung Electronics

     Chairman Lee soo-bin of Samsung Life Insurance Co. has replaced the retired former Chairman Lee Kun-hee as head of the largest business group in the country in the wake of the former chairman's resignation following the prosecution indictment of his alleged implication in tax evasion and corruption charges, along with key Samsung executives.
In the ensuing large personnel shake up,
Vice Chairman Lee Yoon-woo replaced Vice Chairman Yun Jong-yong as the CEO of Samsung Electronics Co., the biggest electronics company in the country and a major Samsung Group affiliate, the company announced May 16.
Vice Chairman Yun offered to resign to let his junior colleagues in the company take major responsibilities, said Lee In-yong, Samsung's chief of public relations.
Many in the business community, however, speculate that the personnel shake-up is a move to prepare for Managing Director Lee Jae-yong, the only son of retired chairman Lee Kun-hee, to take over the helm of the group in two to three years. He now has been assigned to the Samsung Electronics China office in Beijing.
Vice Chairman Lee has been in charge of the electronic giant's external relations and he has both the leadership and the experience to take the electronics maker to the next level, the public relations chief said.
Changes at Samsung Electronics have been widely speculated. On April 22, Chairman Lee retired along with some of his closest assistants after they were indicted on charges of tax evasion and breach of trust.
Samsung Group announced a management overhaul plan in the wake of the prosecution indictment of its top executives on charges of corruption, which included the dismantling of the strategic planning office that oversaw the entire group's operations.
Yun's resignation came as a surprise though, although he often said he would like to let others take over his job that he has held for more than 12 years. He also quit as a registered director of the company and will remain just as a standing advisor to the electronics company.
Personnel changes at the company also included Vice Chairman Lee Ki-tae to take over as the head of external affairs, the position formerly held by Vice Chairman Lee. President Hwang Chang-gyu has been selected to take over as chief technology officer of the company.
The personnel shake up taken by the nation's largest conglomerate is considered the first step in the group's move to prepare for the retirement of its chairman, as it involved 10 CEOs of the group, except Yun who resigned voluntarily.
Under the new CEO's leadership, Samsung Electronics is likely to go through a big change in its management. The vice chairman is likely to share management responsibility with President Choi Do-seok, who is in charge of assisting the company's overall management.
Vice Chairman Lee will take charge of the company's external affairs as his predecessor Yun had done, while President Choi will run the company's day-to-day operations. Vice Chairman Lee Ki-tae will also take on a bigger role just as President Hwang Chang-gyu is expected to do.
The Lee Yoon-woo management team is considered to be the one that will pave the way for Lee Jae-yong, the only son of the retired Samsung chairman, to take over as chairman of the entire group, Samsung officials speculated. The heir apparent relinquished his positions as chief customer officer for Samsung Electronics and as managing director.
They expect the junior Lee may return in two or three years to bring generational change to the group. They said one of the three major divisional presidents would replace the current CEO. The company has three major operational divisions: main business, technology development and new business.
They expect the new management team will do their utmost to find new areas of growth in a move to uphold the message of the retired chairman who has cast a long shadow over the group as the major shareholder.
Vice Chairman Lee Ki-tae has been put in a good position to be promoted to take over as the CEO now that he is in charge of the company's overseas business side, following his tenure as chief technology officer.
President Hwang's move is considered a promotion even though he is still president because he has been given more responsibility as the CTO, taking over from Vice Chairman Lee Ki-tae.
Presidents of each operational sector of the company are also likely to take on bigger roles than their predecessors. President Park Jong-woo, for example, will have two areas of responsibility including the sector for digital media and the camera sector of Samsung Tech One.
President Kwon Oh-hyun, who has been put in charge of the semiconductor sector, will also play a larger role as he now is in charge of the entire chip operation, both memory and non-memory, which the company counts on heavily for its resurgence in performance results.
The new CEO of Samsung Electronics is a veteran executive who can never be left out when discussing the company's chip business. He took charge of the semiconductor operation in the '80s, long before Hwang and former president of the chip sector, Chin Daeje, came ashore to join him. He was credited with the company's survival in the early '80s when the memory chip operation went through the most difficult time in its history.
He recalled that the most memorable time for him during his tenure as head of the chip sector was in 1987 when the chip business turned around and posted a profit for the first time in five years. His selection as the CEO is presumed to have been directed by the retired chairman who has such huge confidence in Lee. Lee assisted the former chairman when he persuaded his late father and founder of the group to venture into the chip business. Lee has been at the retired chairman's side for the past 30 years, winning the trust and confidence of his boss.
The new CEO is naturally expected to allocate more of his time to upgrading the chip sector's share of the company's profit, alongside the cell phone and LCD sectors. New CEO Lee, therefore, is regarded as contrary to his predecessor Yun, who was a home appliance and PC man who spent much of his time doing work related to the marketing campaigns for those products around the world.
Public relations chief Lee said the new CEO is a major figure who led the myth in the chip business, and has also been a CTO and in charge of external affairs for the company, which qualifies him to be the CEO of Samsung Electronics.
Lee is from Wolsung, North Gyeongsang Province, and majored in electronics at Seoul National University. nw

Chairman Lee Soo-bin of Samsung Group.

Vice Chairman & CEO Lee Yoon-woo of Samsung Electronics Co.

Vice Chairman Lee Ki-tae of Samsung Electronics

President Hwang Chang-gyu of Samsung Electronics.

President Choi Ji-sung of Samsung Electronics.

President Lim Hyung-kyu of Samsung Electronics

President Kwon Oh-hyun of Samsung Electronics.

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