Samsung Electronics replaces key chip executives
Samsung Electronics has replaced a number of semiconductor executives following significant challenges related to chip yields and customer retention.
The company confirmed the staffing changes, but would not put an exact number on the reshuffle and denied that it is related to problems in the business.
"It is primarily intended to revitalize the business division," a spokesperson said.
The fate of those replaced was not disclosed.
Local media citing company sources put the number executives replaced at about 20 and connected the human resources moves directly to poor performance in the chip business, which is a key business for Samsung Electronics.
Its foundry operations, which produce custom system-on-chip products for clients, has been the subject of a probe by in-house auditors following reports of critically low yields in some of the most advanced semiconductors.
In the personnel shift, memory chip experts were moved into top spots.
Executive Vice President Song Jai-hyuk has been named head of the Semiconductor R&D Center, which leads the development of advanced manufacturing processes and chip products covering both memory and system-on-chips.
Song previously headed a team dedicated to the design of NAND flash chips. He is credited with successfully introducing NAND flash vertical architecture, which allows for higher cell density.
A division handling foundry manufacturing technology will be headed by Executive Vice President Nam Seok-woo. Nam, who also specializes memory chip manufacturing, will maintain his current position as general manager of Global Manufacturing & Infra Technology.
Kim Hong-sig, an executive vice president who previously worked in the memory chip manufacturing division, was appointed head of the Foundry Technology Innovation Team. The team is tasked with detecting irregular chip performance and correcting defective devices.
"Samsung Electronics suffered lower production yields over the past months, and as a result, its key clients have left," said a market analyst. "The company is looking into ways to improve in response to the series of under-performances."
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is scheduled to visit the Netherlands next week. The plan was first revealed by the Seoul Central District Court and later confirmed by the electronics maker on Friday.
He is currently being tried in connection with alleged irregularities related to a 2016 merger but has been permitted by the court to travel.
BY PARK EUN-JEE, KIM TAE-YUN [firstname.lastname@example.org ]