Samsung says it will start acting more like start-up

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Samsung says it will start acting more like start-up

Samsung Electronics on Thursday proclaimed a new corporate vision called “Start-up Samsung” with the aim of creating a work culture that is more flexible and conducive to creativity.

Under the slogan, the world’s No. 1 producer of smartphones, TVs and memory chips aims to be able to move as fast as a start-up and have more open communication from June at the earliest.

“‘Start-up Samsung’ reflects the firm’s will to create more connections among employees and recover Samsung’s signature ‘winning spirit,’” a Samsung executive said.

The new slogan is intended to mark a critical turning point for the company. Lee Jae-yong, vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and de facto chairman of Samsung Group on behalf of his bedridden father Lee Kun-hee, faces a number of serious tasks. These include completing a smooth management transition and sustaining growth amid fierce competition with Chinese players and sluggish global demand.

The ceremony took place in the presence of some 600 employees, including Yoon Boo-keun, president of consumer electronics, J.K. Shin, president of Internet and mobile communications, and other executives at Samsung Suwon Digital City.

The announcement of the corporate overhaul for the 47-year-old company on Thursday came eight months after the company held an open discussion forum on the Internet to discuss how it could globalize its human resources system. The forum led to 26,000 employees creating 1,200 proposals.

Based on the results of the debate, Samsung’s management has been analyzing the problems with its organizational culture and devising measures to tackle those problems.

Samsung has promised three strategies: putting into action a more horizontal organizational culture, improving productivity and helping employees concentrate on work better.

As part of the first strategy, all Samsung Electronics executives will formally renounce so-called authoritarian styles of leadership by signing a declaration. The company will also reform its human resources system by shrinking the number of staff ranks and prioritizing respective assignments and roles over rank within the company. Salary increases and performance bonuses will also follow.

To boost work efficiency, the company vowed to change the types of meetings held, slash their frequency and speed them up.

And, to strengthen employees’ engagement with their work, the company promised to be better about mandatory overtime or weekend work, as well as allowing employees to use their holidays more freely.

More details will be unveiled in July after a task force devoted to the issues completes its work.


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