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Samsung promotes execs in 30s, 40s in push for change

From left: Lee Keum-joo, executive vice president in charge of DRAM process and development; Moon Sung-hoon, executive vice president for strategic product development of smartphones; Lee Jung-won, executive vice president for modem system development. (Yonhap)
From left: Lee Keum-joo, executive vice president in charge of DRAM process and development; Moon Sung-hoon, executive vice president for strategic product development of smartphones; Lee Jung-won, executive vice president for modem system development. (Yonhap)

Samsung Electronics on Tuesday promoted a total of 187 executives in a year-end reshuffle, including young leaders in their 30s and 40s, in an apparent attempt to push for change amid business uncertainties next year.

The total number slightly decreased from last year’s 198, but more research and development specialists were promoted.

“We carried out an executive reshuffle based on their performance and growth potential with an aim to strengthen the company’s readiness for the future,” Samsung said in a statement. “More young leaders and tech specialists got promoted.”

Among the young leaders is Moon Sung-hoon, 48, who was promoted to executive vice president to lead the strategic product development of the smartphone and home appliance business divisions. Moon is credited for playing a leadership role in hardware development of Samsung’s smartphones, including the flagship Galaxy S and foldable phones.

Lee Jung-won, 45, was also promoted to executive vice president to take in charge of modem system development, which is crucial for Samsung’s prowess in the 5G network business.

Two new vice presidents in their 30s include Bae Bum-hee, a 37-year-old hardware developer, and Lee Byung-il, a 39-year-old electrical engineering specialist.

Samsung also promoted nine women and two foreign nationals to executive positions, putting renewed emphasis on diversity and inclusivity, according to the company.

Among the new female executives is Lee Keum-joo, who has promoted to executive vice president in recognition of her contributions in DRAM processing and development, supporting the company to overcome limitations in the refinement process.

Ahn Hee-yeong, 46, is also one of the new executives promoted as vice president to lead service innovation and commercialization.

The two foreign executives promoted are Germain Clausse, TV sales chief in the southeast Asia and Oceania, and Daniel Araujo, a business portfolio management and merger and acquisition specialist.

Tuesday’s executive reshuffle came after Samsung on Monday promoted seven presidents, including its first female president, Lee Young-hee, head of global marketing. Lee is the first female president at Samsung companies who is not a member of the founding family.

Amid lingering recession fears, the nation’s largest company refrained from making a drastic change in the top brass, with its co-CEO system being maintained to handle its two business pillars: The smartphone and home appliance business -- called DX or digital experience -- and the semiconductor business, called DS or digital solution.

By Jo He-rim (herim@heraldcorp.com)

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