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Samsung Electronics approves LCD spin-off

Shareholders approve second term of POSCO CEO Chung and KT chairman Lee


Shareholders of Samsung Electronics on Friday approved the spin-off of the company’s liquid-crystal display business, which will launch as a new entity tentatively called Samsung Display Co. on April 1.

Samsung said that Park Dong-gun, executive vice president of LCD businesses, was named to lead the firm with initial funding of 750 billion won ($670 million) at the annual meeting of shareholders.

The LCD spin-off, sources say, is considered a step toward eventually merging with the flagship electronics arm’s affiliate Samsung Mobile Display as early as the first half of this year.

The merger is expected to reposition Samsung Display as the nation’s second-biggest company in terms of total sales.

On Friday, Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung and vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun were reelected as board directors, while president Yoon Ju-hwa was newly appointed. 
Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung speaks during a shareholders’ meeting at its headquarters in Seoul, on Friday. (Samsung Electronics)
Samsung Electronics CEO Choi Gee-sung speaks during a shareholders’ meeting at its headquarters in Seoul, on Friday. (Samsung Electronics)

Outside directors included Yoon Dong-min, a lawyer at leading law firm Kim & Chang, and Kim Han-joong, former president of Yonsei University.

“The company posted highest-ever sales and stable profits last year. This year, the electronics industry will face a rapid reorganization, while the global competition gets more severe,” CEO Choi said in his keynote speech.

“The company will continue the sales momentum and maintain stable profits by widening the gap with competitors, creating new values and strengthening future competitiveness.”

Choi said that the company will nurture new growth engines such as the medical equipment business earlier than scheduled, while continuing to reform the corporate culture under the slogan “Work & Live Smart.”

He also said the company will carry out flexible investment and expense plans as part of risk management and make efforts for shared growth with smaller business partners.

According to the company, Samsung Electronics posted 165 trillion won in sales and 16 trillion won in operating profits last year.

The company plans to step up efforts to expand market dominance in key sectors and to secure future growth engines this year.

Earlier, the company announced this year’s investment plan totaling 25 trillion won, including 15 trillion won in the semiconductor business and 6.6 trillion won in displays.

Other major conglomerates also held their shareholders’ meeting on the same day.

POSCO, the world’s third-largest steelmaker, approved a second term for its incumbent CEO Chung Joon-yang at its shareholders’ meeting. Chung will lead the steel giant for another three years.

Industry observers said the shareholders seem to have given him anther term in consideration of his efforts to help the company overcome the global economic slowdown.

They expect that under Chung’s leadership, POSCO will push more aggressively for M&As at home and abroad to expand sales and to overtake major foreign rivals.

KT Corp., the nation’s biggest fixed-line service operator, also reappointed incumbent chairman Lee Suk-chae during its shareholders’ meeting. Lee will serve as head of the company for another three years.

Lee, a former telecommunication minister, said he will do his best to meet the demands of the company’s shareholders.

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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