Samsung’s Executives Relieved after Profit Slide

This week, dozens of executives of the mobile unit of Samsung Electronics were relieved from 

their jobs as part of the annual shuffling of the company. According to people with knowledge of 

the matter, this move is also part of the smartphone giant’s effort for reversing the steep 

declines in its earnings. The official name of the unit is IT and mobile communications and about 

200 executives are employed in it. It wasn’t immediately made clear by Samsung as to how 

many would be reassigned and how many were told to leave the firm. On Wednesday, the 

mobile unit employees who did lose their job included senior vice presidents, vice presidents 

and executive vice presidents as well.

Some of them belonged to media solution center, marketing and development divisions. No 

comment was made by a Samsung spokesperson regarding this matter. The largest company 

of South Korea by market capitalization, Samsung Electronics is known for strict management 

of employees and fast execution of decisions and operations as opposed to other Korean 

companies. It isn’t uncommon for Samsung executives to receive demotions, promotions or job 

cuts, but analysts have stated that the scope of change is a lot different than the previous year. 

Last year, the company had been undergoing expansion and a bigger number of executives had 

been given promotions. On Thursday, Samsung Group, the conglomerate to whom Samsung 

Electronics belongs to, said that 165 executives would be given promotions in 2015 at Samsung 

Electronics. This is in direct contrast to 227 executives who had received promotions the 

previous year whereas 226 had been promoted in the year before that. That was when the 

mobile business of the company was witnessing rapid growth, as per the information offered by 

the conglomerate. According to an analyst, Samsung had wanted to achieve 500 million sales 

units in the long term. 

However, now the company is expected to have 320 million smartphone shipments this year, 

which is similar to the levels reached last year. Therefore, based on the assumption that any 

high growth is unlikely next year as well, the company may have chosen to reassign executives 

to different business units in accordance with the modest sales levels. Analysts further said that 

because of the executive cuts, a large number of mobile executive staff can also be reassigned. 

Samsung Group said that the personal appointments and reorganization plans regarding 

different affiliates would be announced soon. 

The media solution center is one very important division. It had about 15 executives, but lost 

around half of them and the president of the division was also reassigned to head the office of 

global marketing strategy of the South Korean giant. The surprising fact is that he hasn’t been 

replaced so there could be major cutbacks in the unit that’s responsible for developing mobile 

apps and software. This week, Samsung had also announced that the chief executive of the 

mobile unit would be retained, but some president-level executives would be removed from their 

positions. Amongst the people moved include the former head and president of mobile 

marketing, D.J. Lee.

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