SEOUL, Sept. 19 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co.’s reputation plunged in 2017 compared with the year before, industry data showed Tuesday, apparently due to the arrest of its de facto head coupled with the Galaxy Note 7 debacle.
According to the U.S.-based Reputation Institute, Samsung’s ranking in terms of corporate social responsibility plunged 69 notches from 2016 to the 89th spot. The research covers companies’ governance structure, social influences and treatment of workers.
Samsung posted the sharpest on-year decline among the top 100 companies surveyed, the researcher added.
Industry watchers said the decline apparently followed the arrest of Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong.
Last month, a Seoul court slapped Lee with a jail term of five years, finding him guilty of being involved in a massive corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye earlier this year.
The complete removal of the Galaxy Note 7 from store shelves last year due to faulty batteries also adversely impacted Samsung’s overall reputation, the institute said.
LG Corp. was ranked at 76 on the list, followed by Hyundai Motor Co. in the 92nd spot, the market researcher said.
“The case shows that companies’ long-established reputations may collapse in a blink,” a business insider said. “Although the successful launch of the Galaxy Note 8 this year recouped shock from last year’s accidents to some extent, the future still remains cloudy due to the corruption scandal.”