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Samsung promotes execs in 30s, 40s for future growth

Nov. 29, 2023 - 15:38 By Jie Ye-eun
From left: Jeong Hye-soon, executive vice president in charge of the framework research and development team at Samsung Electronics' Device eXperience division; Balajee Sowrirajan, head of Samsung Semiconductor India Research; Kwon Yeong-dae, vice president at Samsung SDS' XTeam Lab (Samsung Electronics, Samsung SDS)

Samsung Group's key technology affiliates -- Samsung Electronics, Samsung Display and Samsung SDS, Samsung SDI and Samsung Electro-Mechanics -- on Wednesday promoted a swath of young executives in their 30s and 40s as part of their ongoing efforts to build a foundation for future growth.

Samsung Electronics promoted a total of 143 executives in a year-end reshuffle, a decrease from last year’s 183. The total number of executives promoted this year was the lowest since May 2017 marked 90.

“We carried out an executive reshuffle focusing on ways to overcome uncertainty in the global business environment,” Samsung said in a statement. “Young leaders and specialists in software and other advanced technology sectors were promoted to speed up a generational shift.”

Among the young leaders is Son Wang-ik, who was promoted to vice president to lead the smartphone research and development of Mobile eXperience division. Son, who is a hardware development expert, is credited for his contributions to strengthening the tech giant’s competitiveness by securing several innovative and patented technologies.

The youngest executive promoted to executive vice president this year is 46-year-old Hwang In-chul, who will lead the company’s artificial intelligence research and development of the Mobile eXperience division. To date, the youngest executive vice president ever to be appointed to the position is former president Kim In-joo, who was promoted to the executive vice president position in 2001 at the age of 43.

Samsung also promoted four women and two foreign nationals to executive positions, maintaining its organizational structure with diversity and inclusivity to strengthen its competitiveness as a global company, according to the company.

The tech giant has promoted around 10 women and foreign executives in its year-end reshuffle each year.

Among the female executives is Jeong Hye-soon, who was promoted to executive vice president in recognition of her contributions to developing optimal software solutions for the company’s flagship Galaxy smartphones and user environment customization features.

The two foreign executives promoted are Charlie Zhang, chief technology officer of sixth-generation research at Samsung Research and Balajee Sowrirajan, head of Samsung Semiconductor India Research.

Among the new 27 promoted executives at Samsung Display, Yoo Dong-gon, vice president of the inspection equipment development team, and Jeon Jin, executive vice president of the mobile display development team, were the young leaders in their 30s and 40s.

Samsung SDI promoted 21 executives to further boost its super-gap technological competitiveness to become a global top-tier firm in 2030. Samsung Electro-Mechanics promoted eight executives to strengthen its leadership in various business sectors including research and development and manufacturing.

Of the seven executives at Samsung SDS, Kwon Yeong-dae is the company’s first-ever vice president in his 30s. He is credited for his research in optimizing technology using reinforcement learning. Kwon is expected to lead future innovation in generative AI research, the company said.

Wednesday’s executive reshuffle came after Samsung Electronics on Monday conducted its annual leadership reshuffle, keeping its co-CEOs Han Jong-hee and Kyung Kye-hyun in their respective seats as device and chip business division chiefs.

Samsung chose stability instead of seeking a drastic shake-up in management amid growing uncertainties surrounding the global economy. However, it established a new future business planning team in charge of exploring the company's future business items, and appointed Jun Young-hyun as the head of the new team.