Large-scale restructuring imminent at Samsung

By Song Su-hyun

Samsung’s mobile, consumer electronics divisions expected to undergo major changes

  • Published : Nov 15, 2017 - 18:10
  • Updated : Nov 15, 2017 - 18:10
Delayed announcements on personnel reshuffles and organizational restructuring at Samsung Electronics and its major affiliates on Wednesday raised questions over whether the group is preparing its first large-scale shake-up in the absence of the conglomerate’s control tower.

Samsung has delayed the anticipated announcements of executive promotions and appointment transfers among its affiliates for about a week, citing difficulty in coordinating personnel reshuffles across the different companies after the disbandment of the former Corporate Strategy Office in February. 

According to industry sources, Samsung is planning major organizational restructuring, including the integration of different parts of the three business divisions at the electronics unit and personnel transfers.

Industry watchers are paying attention to possible changes in the IT and mobile communications division in charge of the smartphone business and the consumer electronics division.

To accelerate the development of artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things software and services, Samsung’s set making divisions are reportedly pondering measures to remove barriers and streamline the workforce assigned for each product and service development.

By appointing CEO Kim Hyun-suk as both head of the consumer electronics division and visual display business on Oct. 31, Samsung has indicated that further streamlining works are needed for the two businesses, including the downsizing of the workforce or simplifying the organizational structure.

At the IT and mobile communications division headed by CEO Koh Dong-jin, two development departments -- in charge of hardware and software development respectively since 2015 -- are highly likely to be incorporated, according to observers.

“Critics have been saying it will be more efficient for Samsung to work on hardware and software together, considering that Samsung aims to connect all of its products with Bixby and the IoT platform,” an industry source said. “Sliming the set making divisions will be inevitable.”

Instead of announcing the changes, Samsung on Wednesday revealed through a report to the regulatory filing that five presidents in their 60s had resigned from their positions, including Kim Jong-ho from the IT and mobile communications division and Rhee In-yong from the communications team.  

By Song Su-hyun (