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Samsung Electronics' 1st female president shatters glass ceiling

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Lee Young-hee, who was promoted to president at Samsung Electronics, introduces Samsung Gear S2 smart watch at a showcase event in Berlin in this 2015 file photo. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics
Lee Young-hee, who was promoted to president at Samsung Electronics, introduces Samsung Gear S2 smart watch at a showcase event in Berlin in this 2015 file photo. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Marketing expert appointed as tech firm's first female president

By Park Jae-hyuk

Samsung Electronics appointed the company's first female president during its annual executive reshuffle, indicating Chairman Lee Jae-yong's intention to break the glass ceiling at his company.

The tech giant announced on Monday that Vice President Lee Young-hee was promoted to president to lead the global marketing office of the device eXperience (DX) division, which oversees the mobile device and home appliance businesses. She is credited for Samsung using purple, instead of blue, for its marketing campaign.

She also became Samsung Group's first female president who is not related to late founder Lee Byung-chul. Hotel Shilla President and CEO Lee Boo-jin, the younger sister of the Samsung Electronics chairman, had been the only female president at Korea's largest conglomerate.

"As a marketing expert who came from L'Oreal in 2007, the new president succeeded in Galaxy smartphone marketing and contributed to enhancing Samsung Electronics' brand value," Samsung Electronics said in a press release. "By promoting a well-performing female vice president to president, we have been able to show our growth vision to talented women."

Clockwise from top left are Samsung Electronics President and Head of Networks Business Kim Woo-june, President and Chief Safety Officer of Global Manufacturing & Infra Technology Nam Seok-woo, President and Head of Corporate Relations Park Seung-hee, President and Head of Global Marketing Office Lee Young-hee, President and Head of Samsung China Corporate Office Greg Yang and President and Head of Corporate Communications Team Baek Su-hyeon. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics
Clockwise from top left are Samsung Electronics President and Head of Networks Business Kim Woo-june, President and Chief Safety Officer of Global Manufacturing & Infra Technology Nam Seok-woo, President and Head of Corporate Relations Park Seung-hee, President and Head of Global Marketing Office Lee Young-hee, President and Head of Samsung China Corporate Office Greg Yang and President and Head of Corporate Communications Team Baek Su-hyeon. Courtesy of Samsung Electronics

Vice President Kim Woo-june was also promoted to president to lead the DX division's networks business, while Vice President Nam Seok-woo was promoted to president and chief safety officer of global manufacturing & infra technology at the device solutions division, which oversees the company's semiconductor business.

In addition, Vice President Song Jai-hyuk, who has led the semiconductor R&D center, was also promoted to president and tasked with serving as the DS division's chief technology officer, while continuously leading the R&D center.

Vice President Baek Su-hyeon, head of the DX division's corporate communications team, who previously worked for Yonhap News Agency and SBS, was also promoted to president. Another former reporter, Park Seung-hee, head of the corporate communications team at Samsung C&T's construction division, who previously worked for the JoongAng Ilbo, was appointed as president in charge of Samsung Electronics' corporate relations.

Vice President Greg Yang was promoted to president to lead the Samsung China Corporate Office.

President Cheun Kyung-whoon was appointed as the DX division's chief technology officer and the president of Samsung Research, while President Sebastian Seung was appointed as the DX division's head of global R&D cooperation at Samsung Research.

Both Vice Chairman Han Jong-hee and President Kyung Kye-hyun were allowed to keep leading the DX and DS divisions, respectively. Most of the company's presidents will also maintain their positions.


Park Jae-hyuk pjh@koreatimes.co.kr


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