Reshuffle reinforces Samsung

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Reshuffle reinforces Samsung

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Kim Sang-kyun, Rhee In-yong, Chung Keum-yong

Senior executives at the Corporate Strategy Office of Samsung Group have been sent en masse to Samsung Electronics in an unprecedented and surprisingly large personnel reshuffle at the country’s largest business group.

The reshuffle, which took effect yesterday, is seen as a bid to strengthen Samsung Electronics, the group’s flagship company, which is grappling with costly legal battles at home and abroad.

Six of the seven presidents or executive vice presidents of the Corporate Strategy Office have been replaced in the reshuffle announced Wednesday. It is the largest personnel reshuffle at the Corporate Strategy Office, the brains of the group, since it was created in late 2010.

Three of the six were dispatched to Samsung Electronics to head the IT affiliate’s public relations, personnel management and legal affairs teams. They are Rhee In-yong, a president who was in charge of a group communications team at Corporate Strategy Office; Chung Keum-yong, an executive vice president in charge of the office’s corporate HR team; and Kim Sang-kyun, a president in charge of the Legal & Compliance Office.

Kim Myung-soo, head of the office’s Corporate Strategy team 2, was not mentioned in the reshuffle, but he also is believed to be moving to Samsung Electronics. Boo Yoon-gyung, head of the plant & machinery division at Samsung C&T, has been named to take the helm of Corporate Strategy team 2.

Yook Hyun-pyo, the executive vice president who was in charge of Corporate Strategic Planning at the Corporate Strategy Office, will be in charge of the strategic assistance at Samsung Economic Research Institute, while Chung Hyun-ho, head of the office’s Corporate Consulting team, was moved within the office to fill in the vacuum left by Chung Keun-yong, as head of Corporate HR team.

Kim Jong-jung, head of Corporate Strategy 1 team, was the only senior executive to remain at Corporate Strategy Office. Kim has been in his job for 18 months, while the six replaced had been at their posts at least three years.

Samsung Electronics is dealing with a long-running legal battle with Apple and awaiting a verdict in the two companies’ second trial in California.

According to Samsung Electronics’ officials the communication team to be led by Rhee will assume responsibility for global communications, which had been under the Corporate Strategy Office.

Samsung Electronics also is negotiating with families of former employees in semiconductor assembly who say the company is at least partially to blame for their leukemia.

The personnel reshuffle, which deviates from the group’s usual practice of conducting a reshuffle at the end of each year, occurred two weeks after Samsung leader Lee Kun-hee returned from three months overseas.

The reshuffle is also to bolster the group’s new Mach Management initiative, a fresh slogan reflecting the chairman’s wish for a fundamental change within the group and is likely to cause reshuffles at other affiliates.

The group wants “the effective execution of Mach Management,” Rhee said.

Meanwhile, younger executives filled the vacancies at the Corporate Strategy Office, lowering the average age of the seven top executives to 54.1 years from 55.

BY CHOI JOON-HO, MOON GWANG-LIP [joe@joongang.co.kr]



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