SEOUL, Dec. 4 (Korea Bizwire) - South Korea’s top conglomerate Samsung Group on Friday made the lowest number of executive promotions in six years as its flagship smartphone business and other affiliates are suffering a prolonged slump.
Samsung Group said it has made 294 executive promotions, the lowest number since 2009, when the global economic crisis led the group to promote only 247. The group made 353 of such promotions last year.
Earlier this week, Samsung Group announced its president-level reshuffle, appointing Koh Dong-jin, who was previously in charge of mobile research and development, as the new chief of its mobile business.
In the third quarter, Samsung’s handset shipments climbed 18 percent on-quarter to 105 million units in the third quarter, with smartphones accounting for around 80 percent, or 84 million units.
Despite the increase, however, the rising challenges from Chinese players and the portion of budget models in its portfolio led Samsung’s IT & Mobile Communications Division to post an operating profit of 2.4 trillion won (US$2 billion), lower than the previous quarter’s 2.7 trillion won.
Other Samsung affiliates also have been facing challenges amid the economic slump, with Samsung Engineering Co. posting a net loss of more than 1 trillion won in the third quarter.
A separate industry data showed Samsung has shed more than 5,000 jobs over the past year through September 2015, also reflecting its struggle to cut costs amid a prolonged economic slump.
The latest reshuffles marked the second of their kind after Lee Kun-hee, the de facto head of the Samsung empire, suffered a heart attack and was hospitalized in May 2014. Although Samsung said Lee was slowly recovering, he has not been able to participate in managerial affairs.
Since then, his only son, Jae-yong, has been making efforts to pave the way for the third-generation control of South Korea’s top family controlled group.