|From left, Kim Ki-nam Samsung Electronics CEO of device solutions, Kim Hyun-suk, CEO of consumer electronics and Koh Dong-jin, CEO of IT and mobile communications. / Courtesy of Samsung Electronics|
By Kim Hyun-bin
Samsung Electronics conducted a year-end executive reshuffle Wednesday that focused on stabilizing management amid the COVID-19 pandemic and enhancing its worldwide competitiveness.
This was the first reshuffle by Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong since the passing of his father, the late Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee last month.
Samsung left the top CEOs at the company's three main business divisions unchanged ― Kim Ki-nam at device solutions, Kim Hyun-suk at consumer electronics and Koh Dong-jin at IT and mobile communications ― seeking stability amid global uncertainties.
However, it appointed five presidents during the reshuffle ― two being at the memory and foundry businesses, as the company aims to expand its competitiveness in the global semiconductor manufacturing.
Lee Jung-bae, 53, who led Samsung's DRAM product and technology unit has been promoted to president and head of the memory business, while Choi Si-young, 56, who led the company's memory manufacturing technology center was named president and head of the foundry business.
Through Lee's promotion, the company plans to expand the gap between its competitors not only in the DRAM sector but the NAND flash and overall memory sectors.
According to TrendForce, Samsung is the world's largest memory chip producer, with a market share of 41.3 percent in DRAMs and 33.1 percent in NAND flash.
"With the new appointees, Samsung aims to bolster its technological competitiveness and occupy new markets under our next generation leadership," the company said.
Meanwhile, Lee Jae-seung, 60, current head of the company's digital appliances business, was promoted from executive vice president to president.
Lee is the first head of the consumer electronics business unit to be appointed president in the company's history. He led the development of innovative technologies in key home appliances, including windless air conditioners and the BESPOKE series.
Samsung said it will announce appointments at executive director level and lower, and unit reorganizing plans in the upcoming days. Many industry watchers believe most posts will be filled by younger executives in their 40s to 50s.
"We have made a shift in generation to better meet the future and all innovative challenges-ahead," Samsung Electronics said.
Other Samsung Group affiliates also announced senior executive reshuffles Wednesday. Samsung Display appointed Choi Joo-sun as its new CEO. The 57-year-old will replace Lee Dong-hoon.
Choi will be tasked to successfully complete Samsung Display's transition to quantum-dot (QD) displays.
Samsung Display is set to invest 13.1 trillion won in QD displays and plans to start their mass production in the latter half of next year.
Since January, Choi headed the large-screen business and QD display development.
Samsung SDS named Hwang Sung-woo, current chief of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), as its new CEO, succeeding Hong Won-pyo.
The Samsung Economic Research Institute appointed Kim Jae-youl to head its global strategy group tasked with recruiting talented people globally. Kim is the husband of Lee Seo-hyun, the second daughter of Lee Kun-hee and a younger sister of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
Samsung Electronics share price rose 2.51 percent to 69,500 won on the day of the announcements..