Samsung says only G&A roles affected in restructuring

Samsung was at pains today to play down reports that the Asian financial crisis was causing it to close down several key operations worldwide.
Written by Martin Veitch, Contributor

The Korean giant said that it was instead reducing marketing and management support headcount as it seeks to move to a country-based rather than regional-based model.

"We're not closing any of our headquarters offices anywhere in the world," said Andrew Morrison, European corporate communications manager. "We're moving towards a country by country marketing strategy and we won't have pan-regional strategies."

Morrison said that a maximum of 33 out of 77 staff will be made redundant in Samsung's Brentford, west London office, but no positions in UK manufacturing, sales, service or distribution will be sacrificed. Samsung currently employs around 2,000 people in the UK making PC monitors, microwaves and audio-visual equipment. About 7,000 are employed across Europe.

Brentford staff made redundant will typically be working in corporate communications, human resources and administration as the company attempts to reduce overlap between country and regional offices. Many will be offered alternative roles in the company.

"Everyone working at Samsung will be closer to their own market; it speeds things up," said Morrison.

The IT sector is "the powerhouse of Samsung" and the Asian crisis will in fact lead to recruitment in Korea-based manufacturing to boost export sales," Morrison claimed.

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