Samsung Electronics on Monday appointed a female president, its first who is not a member of the founding family, in a year-end reshuffle that put emphasis on elevating young leaders based on their performances.
Lee Young-hee, now the president and head of the Global Marketing Office, is a marketing specialist who joined the tech giant’s marketing office as an executive in 2007. She was promoted to vice president in 2012. Prior to joining Samsung, the 58-year-old served in various roles at global companies, including Unilever and L’Oreal.
She is known for playing a leading role in elevating the awareness of Samsung’s flagship smartphone brand Galaxy globally.
“Lee has made great contributions to fostering the brand value of Samsung, bringing its focus to customer value and experience,” Samsung said in a statement. “As the first female president, she is expected to breathe fresh air into the company.”
Together with Lee, Samsung also promoted six other executive vice presidents to president, most of them being tech specialists, especially in the field of semiconductors.
Kim Woo-june, senior vice president in charge of products and business strategy, was promoted to president and head of the Network Business unit in recognition of his leadership in the areas of sales, technology and strategy. Kim, 54, is the youngest figure to be promoted in the latest reshuffle.
Head of global manufacturing of semiconductor business Nam Seok-woo was promoted to president, having proved his skills by leading the process development and manufacturing of all of the company’s memory chip products.
With the outlook grim for the next year’s semiconductor market, Samsung promoted Song Jae-hyuk, vice president and head of the Semiconductor R&D Center, to president. Song contributed to foster the company’s competitiveness in semiconductor technology, and for the company to reach the top position in the global memory chip market, Samsung added.
Baek Su-hyeon was promoted to the president and Head of Corporate Communications Team, and Park Seung-hee, as the president and head of Corporate Relations.
With his experience in broadcasting, Baek is credited for enhancing communication not only within the company but outside the firm as well, Samsung said. Park, also having a career background in journalism, is expected to increase corporate communication in the market.
As China has risen to pose strategic concerns, Samsung also promoted China expert Greg Yang as the president to lead the Samsung China Corporate Office. Having served several manager positions for sales in China, Yang has contributed to the expansion of Samsung’s business in China, the company said.
Paul (Kyung-whoon) Cheun, the president and general management of Network Business unit, was repositioned as the president of Samsung Research, and chief technology officer of the DX Division.
Sebastian Seung, president and head of Samsung Research became the head of Global R&D Cooperation of Samsung Research.
Samsung maintained its executive system consisting of two vice chairmen and executive vice president positions, as it pursues stability amid rising uncertainty in the market, and also to embark on bold changes, the company said.
Han Jong-hee vice chairman currently doubles as the head of the consumer electronics division and IT and mobile communications. Kyung Kye-hyun is in charge of the device solutions division.
The company introduced the simplified executive system during its reshuffle last year, ditching a decades-old three CEO system.
The company announced the reshuffle on Monday, while Samsung chairman Lee Jae-yong was on a business trip to the United Arab Emirates. He is expected to attend a private forum hosted by the UAE President Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, one that he also attended during his visit to the UAE last December.
By Jo He-rim (email@example.com)