Samsung commences its biggest shake-up in four years

Samsung Electronics has promoted 221 senior executives, the most since 2013, with 99 of them from the highly profitable semiconductor business.

Samsung Electronics has commenced its biggest year-end reshuffle in four years, with executives of the highly profitable semiconductor business getting the most promotions.

The South Korean tech giant promoted 221 senior executives, it said, the most since 227 back in 2013.

Due to chairman Lee Kun-hee's heart attack, 165 executives were promoted in 2014 and only 135 were promoted in 2015. Last year's reshuffle was delayed to May this year and only 96 were promoted due to the national bribery scandal involving heir-apparent Lee Jae-yong.

Nearly half of the promoted executives -- 99 -- are from the semiconductor business, which has helped the firm reach record profits this year.

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun announced his retirement last month. The firm replaced heads of businesses in what was considered a long-awaited shake-up to inject younger leaders into the company's management.

The reshuffle is a preamble to a later announcement of organisational change, which will likely come within the month. It will be of keen interest to see what the conglomerate will focus on next year.

The appeal trial for the jailed younger Lee, the de facto head of Samsung, is expected to end early next year, when he may be released if given a suspended sentence.

The South Korean tech giant, known for its hardware prowess, is attempting to empower its software and artificial intelligence businesses further going forward. It formed the auto-component division back in 2015 and the following year announced the acquisition of Harman for $8 billion.

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