The number of Samsung Electronics’ executives fell below 1,000 in five years after the company opened an era of 1,000 executives in 2012 for the first time since its founding. This was largely due to the group-level reduction of the number of executives for management efficiency and the break-up of the Future Strategy Office which belonged to Samsung Electronics.
According to the e-disclosure system of the Financial Supervisory Service on April 12, the number of Samsung Electronics’ full-time executives was 998 in the last year’s business report. The figure decreased by 64 from 1,062 a year earlier.
This is the first time for Samsung Electronics to see its number of employees drop below 1,000 since 2012. The figure have shown a downward trend continuously after reaching a record high with 1,226 in 2014. Last year, Samsung Group announced 197 new executives, down 54 from the previous year. Industry sources expect that group will announce a smaller number of executives this year as it is strengthening the self-management of its affiliates in earnest.
As Samsung Group dismantled its controversial Future Strategy Office at the end of February as part of its reform plan, the number of Samsung Electronics’ executives rapidly declined this year. In the process, a large number of executives at the Future Strategy Office left the company or were transferred to its other affiliates, including director and vice chairman Choi Ji-sung and deputy director and CEO Jang Choong-ki. Also, some executives at Samsung Electronics who were involved in “Choi Soon-sil Gate” resigned, such as Park Sang-jin, president of the overseeing external relations, and Kim Seok, president of the Samsung Social Contribution Committee.
In addition, Park Dong-gun, former president, who served as an executive assistant of vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, was finally fired in a personnel reshuffle to censure him for Samsung Display’s poor performance last year.
Currently, 101 out of 998 Samsung Electronics’ executives are graduates of Seoul National University. Vice chairman Lee Jae-yong also majored in East Asian History at Seoul National University after entering the university in 1987. Korea Advanced Institute of Science & Technology (KAIST) ranked second with 84 in terms of the number of graduates in Samsung Electronics' executives, followed by Yonsei University with 66, Sungkyunkwan University with 63, Korea University with 61 and Hanyang University with 48. There are 41 executives who are graduates from Kyungpook National University, which used to dominate Samsung in the past.
About 29 percent, or 293, of Samsung Electronics’ executives studied abroad. A majority of them, or 233, studied in the U.S., followed by 25 in Europe, 22 in Japan and 6 in China. More than half of the executives, or 599, have Master and Ph. D. degrees.
There are two executives with a high school diploma – executive director Hwang Dae-han, who was graduated from Sudo Electric Technical High School, and expert advisor Kim Ho-jin, who was graduated from Hawthorne High School in Centinela Valley, California of the U.S. Its five executives are graduates of community colleges, while three other executives are graduates of cyber and digital universities.
There are 46 female executives in Samsung Electronics, accounting for 4.55 percent of the total. Vice president Lee Young-Hee and executive director Ha Hye-sung are currently working at Samsung Electronics as a role model who broke the glass ceiling for woman executives.
The average age of Samsung Electronics’ executives was 53 years. Pranav Mistry, a 35-year-old researcher from India, is the youngest executive in the company.