Samsung Electronics is paying a lot of attention to beefing up global communications. The company appointed a senior official from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance as an officer in charge of overseas PR after making foreign language qualifications obligatory in executive promotion reviews.
Considering that Samsung Electronics' overseas sales account for 90% of its total sales, this move is construed as a strategy to approach overseas consumers and investors more actively.
According to the Korean business circles on February 25, senior managing director Kim Yi-tae was recently appointed as an executive officer in charge of overseas PR at the Samsung Electronics Communication Team. Kim, a former senior official who served as director of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, joined Samsung Electronics in April 2016.
Kim who had passed the civil service examination was a bureaucrat well versed in international finance, holding major posts as heads of the Foreign Currency Fund Department and the International Finance Department. Kim took courses to the position of the international economic management officer who is at the assistant secretary level.
It is analyzed that Kim worked as an adviser of the monetary capital market among others in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for three years from 2012 so his rich experience in global international finance led him to be in charge of investors relations (IR) for Samsung Electronics. As the global economic environment is rapidly changing due to the US’s toughening of protectionism these days, Kim’s roles are expected to become more significant.
In addition, not an executive director but a senior managing director will be in charge of PR activities for the device solution (DS) division for semiconductors and displays which led Samsung Electronics's record-breaking performances. This means that the company will actively promote overseas PR activities after breaking away from domestic PR. Seo Dong-myeon who worked as an executive director of Samsung Electronics’s Future Strategy Office was promoted to a senior managing director and is in charge of PR activities for DS Division.
Executive director Seo Byeong-hoon who was in charge of promoting overseas business prior to senior managing director Kim, moved to Samsung C&T as head of overseas PR. Samsung C&T is in desperate need of communications with foreign shareholders as the company was once attacked by Eliot Management, a hedge fund in the past. So, Mr. Seo, who has accumulated abundant experience in Samsung Electronics, has been newly recruited to take charge of overseas IR for Samsung C&T.
In the past, Samsung Electronics mapped out and is implementing a mid- to long-term personnel roadmap to strengthen the foreign language capabilities of its personnel in the financial and personnel management parts. Current employees who are managers or lower and will be promoted to executives after 10 years from now will be excluded from the promotion evaluation if they fail to reach top levels in major foreign languages such as English, Chinese and Japanese. Already, key executives are reportedly taking foreign language lessons and foreign language tests.