Lee Jae-yong visits Brazil for morale boost

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Lee Jae-yong visits Brazil for morale boost


Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, center, talks Monday with the company’s employees during his visit to Samsung Electronics’ branch in Manaus, Brazil. [SAMSUNG ELECTRONICS]

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong chose Brazil as the first stop on his morale boost tour for 2020 with heads of the company’s smartphone and visual display businesses.

The Korean electronics giant announced in a statement Monday that Lee visited Samsung Electronics’ facilities in Manaus, Brazil, during the Lunar New Year holiday season for a morale boost.

The Manaus site was the first overseas facility that Lee visited since he started assuming managerial responsibilities for Samsung Electronics in 2001.

Lee was accompanied by Roh Tae-mun, the newly appointed head of Samsung Electronics’ smartphone business who served as the mastermind of its successful Galaxy brand, and Han Jong-hee, president of Samsung Electronics’ visual display business who has been serving in the position since November 2017.

In talks with employees at the Manaus branch, Lee encouraged them to continue with their hard work for Samsung Electronics’ vision for 100 years of history, according to the electronics company.

The Samsung Electronics’ factory in Manaus, which started as a television assembly plant in 1995, now also produces smartphones, tablets, air conditioners and computer monitors for the company. It is a workplace for 7,000 employees that Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro visited in April last year.

On Tuesday, Lee is scheduled to continue his morale boost tour in Brazil by visiting the Samsung Electronics’ branch in Sao Paulo in charge of the company’s Latin America market to discuss future business strategies. He also plans to take a tour of the company’s smartphone factory in the city of Campinas.

Latin America has been an increasingly important market for Samsung Electronics as its smartphones have sold well in the region last year. According to market researcher Counterpoint Research, Samsung Electronics had the largest market share of 42.8 percent in Latin America in terms of smartphone sales for the second quarter last year, followed by Motorola with 14.9 percent and 12.2 percent for Huawei.

Many have suggested that Lee has been making similar type of tours during national holidays as a means to show that he has no problem carrying out his managing role even after the Supreme Court ordered a retrial of a bribery case involving him in August last year.

During Korea’s Chuseok harvest festival in September last year, the vice chairman visited Samsung C&T’s subway construction site in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

Last year, ahead of the Lunar New Year holiday season, the vice chairman visited Samsung Electronics’ Seocho R&D Campus in Seocho District, southern Seoul, while during the holiday Lee took a trip to Samsung Electronics’ memory plants in Xian, China, as part of efforts to seek new strategies for its memory chip business.

BY KO JUN-TAE [ko.juntae@joongang.co.kr]
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