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Views mixed on exit of Samsung’s first female VP

Views mixed on exit of Samsung’s first female VP

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Published : 2013-12-16 19:53
Updated : 2013-12-16 19:53

Samsung Electronics CMO Sue Shim
People talk, and right now in the circles involving Samsung, one topic arousing much talk is whether Sue Shim, Samsung Electronics’ first female executive vice president, has been demoted or will move on to greater things.

Shim became chief marketing officer and executive vice president at Samsung Electronics in 2011. Recently, after just two years in office, she’s taken leave to further her studies in corporate social responsibility in the U.S.

Lee Young-hee, executive vice president of Samsung’s mobile division, now stands as the only female executive at that level.

Shim’s move understandably raised some eyebrows since she was seemingly at the pinnacle of her career.

Many are now asking if Shim is being phased out from becoming a president, or if she is being given a chance to widen her horizons.

Those who believe the former say no executive in their right mind would cut off a career midway to go back to school.

Others who maintain Samsung has bigger plans for Shim say the relocation of corporate shared value, or CSV, to the global marketing unit speaks volumes of her next role.

Samsung Electronics recently moved and reinforced its CSV functions to the marketing team in a move viewed by many as a sign that Samsung believes its brand has matured to significant levels and will now work on improving CSV to be recognized as a more mature global company.

In China, Samsung China was ranked first in terms of corporate social responsibility, but on other lists, such as that compiled by Reputation Institute, the Korean firm did not make it to the top 100.

The figures show that while Samsung may be leading as the largest smartphone maker on the globe, it has farther to go to prove itself as a leader in shared growth and contribution.

If Samsung is determined to take CSR to the next level, perhaps Shim may play a titular role in the project.

However, all optimism aside, industry watchers are quick to point out that no firm makes CSR its top priority, meaning any executive in charge of it will always play second fiddle.

At Interbrand, Samsung is at eighth place on the list of the world’s top 100 global brands.

By Kim Ji-hyun (jemmie@heraldcorp.com)

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