SEOUL, Nov. 6 (Korea Bizwire) – Samsung’s reshuffle of high-ranking officials at advanced ages is sending warning signs to older workers as other companies could follow suit.
The latest employee reorg at Samsung, which saw many of its high-ranking officers over the age of 60 step down to be replaced with younger employees, is keeping older officials on their toes at South Korean companies.
Often hailed as the leader of corporate culture in South Korea, speculation is growing that the electronics giant’s new human resources trend will influence some of the largest corporations in the country including LG, Hyundai Motor and SK, where changes among among executives and staff members are expected to take place in November and December.
The news also comes as a blow to younger board members and employees in their 30s and 40s, as their job tenure could be slashed by companies’ youth-oriented HR policy.
LG Group’s main affiliate, LG Electronics, is expected to implement performance-based evaluations as part of its reshuffle again this year, similar to last year.
With a few of the members of the board of directors in their 60s, and many more among vice-presidents and executive directors, speculation is growing that a major generational shift could take place this year.
While SK Group went through a major generational change last year, hiring Jo Dae-shik – who is in his in 50s – as the new chairperson of the Supex Council, the highest body within the company, some remain wary of the possible ramifications of Samsung’s HR choices.
Against this backdrop, the term ‘retirement at 50’ is increasingly being used, as the average age among presidents at companies drops to the 50s, bringing down the average age of both board directors and department heads.
“With the year-end personnel reshuffle season fast approaching, coupled with the news of a generational change at Samsung Electronics, many older high-ranking officials seem to be apprehensive,” a source close to the industry said.
“Though it happens every year, this year seems to be much tougher,” the source said.
Another official in their 40s who heads a department at a major corporation, said in regret, “My children haven’t even entered elementary school and I’m already worried about the prospect of retirement. The general consensus among corporate officers is that retiring in their 50s is becoming increasingly likely.”
Hyunsu Yim (email@example.com)