Samsung’s Koh warns employees about leaks

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Samsung’s Koh warns employees about leaks

Koh Dong-jin, president of Samsung Electronics’ mobile business, cautioned employees against leaking information, presumably related to the Galaxy S8 smartphone, in an email sent to employees on Thursday.

“It was heartbreaking to hear about cases of employees getting caught after they tried to leave with samples related to the company’s core task at hand and making attempts to leak corporate documents,” he said in the message.

“We must not forget that crises occur, not suddenly in one day, but after the accumulation of numerous incidents and signs, just as in Heinrich’s Law,” referring to an empirical finding that suggests for every accident that causes a major injury, there are 29 accidents that cause minor injuries and 300 accidents that cause no injuries.

The core message is that major accidents follow smaller ones that stem from the same problem.

Koh urged employees to be alert on security matters, saying that “multiple cases of carelessness can lead to bigger accidents.” He also mentioned that past leaks in China caused problems for the company and emphasized employees’ responsibility in remaining vigilant. “I need our employees to be attentive and alert on any small incidents,” Koh said.

In September, a senior director at Samsung Electronics was arrested for leaving the company’s factory in Giheung, Gyeonggi, with confidential documents. The papers were allegedly stolen over a period of two months starting from May and contained information on semiconductor technology used in smartphones. Some of the information is protected by the Korean government.

The suspect told police he had intentions of bringing the documents to China.

An industry insider said there was high possibility that the sample of the “core task at hand” mentioned in Koh’s message was related to the design and features of the upcoming Galaxy S8.

“There is no doubt that Samsung is sensitive about the Galaxy S8,” the source said on the condition of anonymity. “The company is giving its all to make it a success and make up for the Note7 crisis.”

For Koh, the Galaxy S8 might be his last chance to recover losses from the Galaxy Note7, which was pulled from production in October after reported cases of the device overheating and exploding. The company is still investigating the cause of the defect.

Many expect the Galaxy S8 to be unveiled at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, in February.



BY PARK TAE-HEE, SONG KYOUNG-SON [song.kyoungson@joongang.co.kr]

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