Many promotions at Samsung

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Many promotions at Samsung

Samsung Electronics promoted 221 employees to the executive level in its annual year-end reshuffle Thursday, the largest number since 2014.

Of them, 99, or 44.8 percent, were from the device solutions division, which has seen record-high earnings over the past several quarters, riding a so-called semiconductor supercycle.

By position, the reshuffle promoted 27 people to vice president, 60 to executive director, 118 to managing director, one to fellow - an executive level researcher - and 15 to master technician.

Last year there were only 83 promotions to those ranks in the aftermath of Samsung’s embroilment in the political corruption scandal that brought down the Park Geun-hye administration and led to the sentencing of Samsung’s de facto commander in chief Lee Jae-yong to five years in prison in August.

The fact that 99 people were made executives in the device solutions division - compared to 57 in 2015 and 41 in 2016 - means Samsung is being faithful to the principle of prioritizing divisions by performance, according to analysts.

“By administering a bold reshuffle, we intend to revitalize the organization and lay the groundwork for yet another leap,” said a Samsung spokesman.

The large number of new vice presidents is meant to expand the pool of future leaders, he added. The youngest among those promotions is 49 years old and the oldest is 59.

Samsung is trying to diversify in terms of nationality to live up to its position as the world’s No. 1 smartphone, TV and semiconductor maker. It promoted eight non-Koreans to either executive director or managing director.

Of the four foreigners promoted to executive director, two came from the device solutions division: Dermot Ryan, 55, who is in charge of Europe, and James Elliot, 46, who covers the United States. The other two are Hadrian Baumann, head of Samsung SEUK, and Dipesh Shah, head of Samsung R&D Bangalore.

“With the generational transition, Samsung aims to ditch the convention of preferring those who started their careers at Samsung and climbed the corporate ladder,” said the Samsung spokesman.

Still, only 10 women, or 4.5 percent of the total, were promoted on Thursday - an indication that the glass ceiling is intact at the country’s most valuable company.

None were on the list of people promoted to vice president and executive director.

The 10 consist of seven managing directors, one fellow and two master technicians. Of the seven, three are from the device solutions division, one from the mobile division, two from the consumer electronics division and one from the global communications division.

The company explained that it “maintained the female executive promotion momentum to boost organizational flexibility and utilization of female workforce.”

Other affiliates are expected to also reshuffle. The schedule is unknown.

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