Samsung reshuffles key execs amid challenging times

Korean tech giant transfers several senior executives from its group to Samsung Electronics, which is responsible for its smartphone business and the company's main cash cow, as it looks to address business uncertainties.
Written by Eileen Yu, Senior Contributing Editor

Samsung has moved six senior executives from its group headquarters to the company's subsidiaries, in a move to address business uncertainties as the Korean tech giant faces challenging times. 

Samsung Group's chief communications officer, Lee In-Yong, is among several key officials who have been transferred to Samsung Electronics, the affiliate responsible for the company's smartphone business and its biggest cash cow. Others including the heads of legal and human resource also will be heading from the group company to the electronics business unit, reported The Korea Times

Effective from May 1, the high-level reshuffle was reportedly initiated to address uncertainties as Samsung faced market challenges. 

The report cited a company executive who expressed shock over the move, as it was unusual for senior executives to be moved from the group--which is responsible for setting Samsung's strategic direction and the interests of its subsidiaries--to a subsidiary. 

The executive noted that the changes were aimed at helping the Korean tech giant better manage upcoming challenges, including a change in the company's recruitment system and problems in securing suppliers of components for the Galaxy S5

A company spokesperson said the executive reshuffle was necessary to lend more support to the electronics unit as it was the main source of revenue for Samsung. 

Chairman Lee Kun-Hee in January had called for the company to throw out old business plans and drive research and development to remain competitive against modern-day competitors and the fast-paced nature of the electronics market. In his annual speech, Lee added that the past year had been tough due to increasing competition from rivals.

Samsung last month said it was tweaking its business structure to explore other markets and reduce its reliance on the electronics business, which currently accounts for more than 75 percent of the group's overall profits and revenue. "Without another 'Samsung Electronics', the group may lose competitiveness sometime later," the company said. "Our chairman ordered top management at Samsung affiliates to develop business models to ensure profit sustainability."

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