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Samsung likely to replace chiefs of most financial units

Samsung Group is expected to replace most of the chief executives at its financial units, including Samsung Life Insurance and Samsung Card, according to news reports on Sunday.

According to local business daily the Korea Economic Daily, the conglomerate is scheduled to carry out its annual reshuffle of C-level executives this week, starting with its flagship Samsung Electronics and other IT affiliates on Monday.

Korean conglomerate Samsung Group’s headquarters in Gangnam. (Yonhap)
Korean conglomerate Samsung Group’s headquarters in Gangnam. (Yonhap)

Financial units, including Samsung Securities and Samsung Card, will follow suit on Tuesday.

The executive reshuffle in its construction arm Samsung C&T will be held off until after the Lunar New Year holidays -- Jan. 24-27.

Both Samsung Life CEO Hyun Sung-chul and Samsung Card CEO Won Gee-chan are largely expected to step down, in line with the group’s efforts to keep the age ceiling of heads under the 60-year mark. Hyun and Won have been in their position since March 2018 and December 2013, respectively.

Samsung Securities CEO Chang Seok-hoon, and Samsung Asset Management Jeon Young-muk are also expected to resign based on an internal assessment system that puts focus on rewarding high-performers while punishing those who fail to achieve set goals.

Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance CEO Choi Young-moo, however, is largely forecast to maintain his leadership role.

Companies under the Samsung Group are said to be discussing with the outgoing executives before announcing the planned reshuffle.

“The conglomerate cannot delay the reshuffle anymore, so it started giving notices on Jan. 16 to the outgoing executives about the end of their contracts,” a Samsung Group official was quoted as saying by the local daily.

The extensive annual reshuffle at the conglomerate, which was initially scheduled in December, has been postponed due to the ongoing court trials for Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong and 20 sitting and former executives, who are involved in a bribery scandal surrounding former President Park Geun-hye.

After the reshuffle of the top brass, the business titan will conduct annual promotions for lower-ranking executives, presumably later this month.

By Kim Young-won (