Samsung pushes for global competitiveness

Samsung pushes for global competitiveness
Samsung Electronics’ mobile business chief Shin Jong-kyun poses with some of the tech giant’s devices featured in the movie “Avengers: Age of Ultron,” at Coex in southern Seoul on Monday.

Chief executives of Samsung Electronics plan to work at the company's overseas offices including those in Silicon Valley and New York on a regular basis, aiming to transform the Seoul-based tech giant into a truly global company.

"The tech giant's CEOs from next month will start working at one of the company's overseas offices once every two or three months to better understand the global market trends," a senior Samsung official was quoted as saying.

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone maker by sales, is led by three CEOs: Kwon Oh-hyun, in charge of the firm's device solutions business division, Yoon Boo-keun, head of the consumer electronics business division, and Shin Jong-kyun, the mobile business head.

The Samsung CEOs will likely work for around a week at an overseas branch, and other top executives of Samsung Group affiliates in the electronics sector, such as Samsung Electro-Mechanics and Samsung SDI, will join the initiative to beef up global competiveness. The Samsung CEOs are expected to have meetings with top executives from global firms.

The latest move of the tech giant is in line with the de facto Samsung heir and vice chairman Lee Jay-yong's efforts to expand the electronics firm's overseas businesses, facing challenges posed by rivals from China and the US

More than 90 per cent of the company's annual revenue comes from overseas markets. Of the 206 trillion won ($188 billion) it earned last year, about 191 trillion won, or 92.6 per cent, came from overseas sales.

Even though Samsung has made large strides in expanding its businesses and building up its brand image in foreign markets, especially those for home appliances and handsets, many market watchers, and often Samsung executives themselves, have pointed out that the company's overall management and corporate culture do not meet the standards of global firms.

Since Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun-hee was hospitalised after a heart attack in May 2014, vice chairman Lee has been trotting across the globe to have meetings with global partners as well as rivals, including Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Apple CEO Tim Cook.

While the junior Lee has been filling the management vacuum created since last May, the Korean firm conducted eight mergers and acquisitions of foreign firms in efforts to create new cash cows.

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