The Korea Herald


Rank-and-file Samsung workers calm upon heir’s return

By Lee Joo-hee

Published : Feb. 5, 2018 - 18:51

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In response to the news of Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong’s return, rank-and-file employees of Samsung Electronics and affiliates remained calm on Monday.

“The result doesn’t directly affect rank-and-file employees, but it will matter more to the executives,” said an assistant manager-level employee at Samsung. “But the atmosphere is definitely more positive now as our team leaders look somewhat relaxed, and I think this will lead to good results in businesses, too.”

Samsung headquarters in Seocho-dong, Seoul (Yonhap) Samsung headquarters in Seocho-dong, Seoul (Yonhap)

A software engineer working at a Samsung workplace in Suwon, Gyeonggi Province said, “It was almost a taboo for us to talk about it while in office, so not many are displaying their feelings right now.”

“I wasn’t expecting such a result,” he added.

Lee, Samsung Electronics’ vice chairman, was released on Monday afternoon after an appellate court handed him a suspended sentence of 2 1/2 years in prison with four-year probation, dismissing most of the key charges in a bribery and corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

While Samsung’s stellar performance during the year that Lee was gone was attributed to the company’s unwavering systematic structure, in-house sources said Lee’s return brings a broader significance.

They cited how the vice chairman’s release would help recover their pride in working for the country’s largest conglomerate, whose image had been tattered for being invovled in one of the worst bribery scandals.

Some showed expectations that it could be a good sign for Samsung’s upcoming phones — the Galaxy S9 series — later this month.

“The news was encouraging for us as we are doing last-minute works to launch the S9 series,” said an employee working for the IT & Mobile Communications division at Samsung. “I hope this leads to a big hit of our phones this year.”

By Song Su-hyun (