Samsung has shuffled the pack in order to cope with the absence of its vice chairman. The electronics company has been forced to enforce an executive reshuffle to make up for the loss of its vice president Jay Y Lee who was arrested in February.
Lee was arrested in South Korea, for his alleged role in an ongoing political scandal involving impeached President Park Geun-Hye. The heir of the Samsung empire is accused of paying around $38 million in bribes to Park’s long time confidante, Choi Soon-Sil, in order to secure a controversial merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries, which prosecutors say was intended to consolidate control of the country’s largest conglomerate.
The reshuffle, which sees a new head of mobile marketing and a new China chief take up their posts, has been designed to prevent a decline in Samsung’s momentum. Analysts do not see the reshuffle as a permanent move and instead believe it is a stop-gap measure. "It appears that Samsung made the changes at a smallest possible scale in order to ensure that its business operations keep running," said Park Ju-gun, head of corporate analysis firm CEO Score.
Vice President Choi Kyung-sik will head up the mobile division, while his predecessor Lee Sang-chul has been reassigned to oversee south east Asian operations. Samsung Electronics typically announces such appointments at the end of a year but it did not do so in December as it was embroiled in the graft scandal that led to Lee’s detention.
Samsung is expected to deliver record profits this year, on the back of a strong memory market and strong sales in its flagship smartphone the Galaxy S8.