Keeping global talent

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Keeping global talent

The author is head of the industry news team 2 of the JoongAng Ilbo.


Tim Baxter, president & CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, announces at CES 2018 in Las Vegas the company’s commitment to accelerating Internet of Things (IoT) adoption and making all Samsung-connected devices intelligent by 2020. [FEATURE PHOTO SERVICE FOR SAMSUNG]

Tim Baxter, president and CEO of Samsung Electronics North America, is leaving the company in June after 13 years. He is a symbolic figure at Samsung, having been the first foreigner named vice president (2011) and the first with the title of president (2017) in the group. Marc Mathieu, chief marketing officer at Samsung North America, number three at the subsidiary, left after four years.

Senior Vice President John Absmeier moved to Lear Corporation, a U.S. auto parts company and Samsung rival in the device business. He worked for three years at Samsung Electronics, leading the company’s self-driving technology efforts.

It is unclear whether the global talent leaves because of the company’s internal situation, personal circumstances or a domino effect. Global talent moves to companies that offer more, and Samsung recruit others.

LG Electronics attempted to appoint foreigners to key positions when Nam Yong was vice chairman, but the plan was canceled due to internal criticism. There are currently no foreigners at the executive director level.

Let’s resort to big data. I looked up Glassdoor, the company review website. It is a site that Americans refer to the most when changing jobs. Current and former employees can only review their companies by submitting business emails. Samsung Electronics is rated 3.5 stars out of 5, and 65 percent would recommend it to friends. It is a great improvement from 2.8 stars in 2014. LG Electronics possesses lower scores: 3.2 stars and a 48 percent recommendation score. Hyundai Motor is similarly ranked: 3.4 stars and a 48 percent recommendation score.

Apple, which competes in the same talent pool, has 4.0 stars and a 78 percent recommendation score, while Amazon possesses 3.8 stars and a 74 percent recommendation score. GM and Toyota, Hyundai competitors, earned higher marks, with 3.6 stars and a 67 percent recommendation score, and 3.6 stars and a 70 percent recommendation score, respectively.

Foreigners who are current and former employees of Samsung, LG, Hyundai and other Korean companies gave lowest scores on senior management. Criticisms include top-down culture, asking to repeat the same task, proposing ideas that are not maintained and a backward corporate culture.

JoongAng Ilbo, March 20, Page 29
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