Samsung Promotes Hundreds Amid Generational Management Change

Samsung Electronics on Thursday gave hundreds of promotions to its executives amid a major generational change of management, continuing its efforts to put younger employees in higher positions within the firm. The South Korean original equipment manufacturer elevated 221 executives in total as part of the largest wave of management promotions since 2014 when 227 employees were awarded more senior positions at the company. Samsung's executives on the rise are still predominantly male, with only seven women being encompassed by the tech giant's latest promotions, though the OEM has been gradually diversifying its management in recent times. Most of the newly elevated employees were appointed to positions pertaining to the firm's Device Solutions business that includes the chaebol's top-performing units like its chipmaking and consumer electronics operations, with 99 executives in total being awarded positions in this division.

The conglomerate has been going through some major management changes over the course of this year, some of which were prompted by a political scandal that saw Samsung Group Vice Chairman and heir apparent Jay Y. Lee sentenced to five years in prison on the counts of bribing top government officials and consequently embezzling corporate funds. While Mr. Lee already appealed his sentence and is expected to push it all the way to the Supreme Court of South Korea, his absence and the consequences of the scandal led to the closure of the chaebol's Future Strategy Office, a central actor in the controversy and a unit that largely acted as the corporate glue connecting the majority of Samsung Group-owned businesses. In the immediate aftermath of the ordeal, one of Samsung Electronics Chief Executive Officers announced his resignation effective March 2018, stating that the company is going through an "unprecedented crisis" despite posting record profits and breaking a broad range of performance records even in the absence of its de facto leader.

The consumer electronics manufacturer already reshuffled its China and North America operations earlier this year, in addition to elevating a number of key executives in India. The company's management changes traditionally take place closer to the turn of every calendar year but were delayed in 2017 following Mr. Lee's arrest, with many of the newly announced promotions likely being discussed and unofficially decided months in advance. Samsung is expected to post strong performance over the final quarter of the year as the company continues dominating in various industry segments, including smartphones, TVs, chips, and OLED display panels of all sizes.

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