Samsung has evolved into one of the two key players in the global consumer electronics industry, now challenging even arch-rival Apple as the leading pace-setter. It was already South Korea's biggest and most powerful business conglomerate. During the 1980s it was one of the five dominant "chaebol", or the family-run business groups, which provided the engine for Korea's massive economic growth during that decade. Ten years later, Asia's economic crisis and intense regulatory pressure from the Korean government caused rivals such as Daewoo and Hyundai to implode. But Samsung managed an orderly restructuring of its interests, becoming stronger than ever before. Though it retains interests in many other areas, the group's main business is electronics. It now ranks as the world's biggest technology company, eclipsing longer established competitors from Japan, Europe and North America. It is the leading manufacturer of memory chips, and the biggest and still fastest-growing producer of mobile phones, televisions and other digital appliances. That business has expanded dramatically in recent years, supported by aggressive marketing campaigns in North America and Western Europe.
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|Samsung SDI||Samsung Engineering|
|Samsung Electro-Mechanics||Cheil Industries|
|Samsung Corning||Samsung Everland|
|Samsung SDS||Shilla Hotel|
|Samsung Life||Cheil Communications|
|Samsung Fire & Marine||S1|
|Samsung Card||Samsung Lions|
|Samsung Securities||Samsung Hospitals|
|Samsung Investment Trust||Samsung Corporation|
Adbrands Weekly Update 11th Jan 2018: Ads of the Week "Lets You Be You". Samsung's global agency Cheil commissioned Shea Glover to re-create the 2015 social experiment in which she filmed people reacting to being called beautiful. In the intervening years, she has evolved from Chicago high school student to YouTube superstar, but the concept is just as charming and as moving as when she first came up with it. People are pretty wonderful, all things considered, and Glover's film serves as a fine illustration of that fact.
Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: As expected, Samsung delivered a second straight quarter of record profits on revenues up 30% year-on-year. The group also shook up its senior executive team, replacing all three current divisional CEOs in an attempt to introduce fresh blood. Despite its stellar financial results, Samsung has been wrestling with a crisis of management. Though its day-to-day business is handled by three co-CEOs, nominal chairman and patriarch Lee Kun-hee is semi-comatose following a heart attack, and his son and heir and de facto group leader Lee Jae-yong recently began a five year jail sentence for bribery. Two weeks ago, the group's most senior co-CEO Kwon Oh-hyun announced his own resignation, and called for a complete overhaul of the team. Kim Ki-nam will replace him as co-CEO and head of the components division, Samsung's most profitable business. He will be partnered by Kim Hyun-suk, as co-CEO and head of consumer electronics; and Koh Dong-jin as co-CEO and head of mobiles. A new chairman is also expected, with the likely candidate being group CFO Lee Sang-hoon.
Adbrands Weekly Update 19th Oct 2017: Samsung forecast record profits for 3Q equivalent to around $12.8bn, almost three times higher than the year ago period, while revenues are expected to jump by almost 30% to around $55bn. Yet that good news was overshadowed by the shock resignation of Kwon Oh-hyun, chairman of the group's most successful business, components. Last quarter, Samsung overtook Intel for the first time to become the world's biggest chipmaker. Yet with de facto group chairman Lee Jae-yong currently serving a five-year jail sentence on bribery and corruption charges, Kwon has chosen this point in time to announce his retirement. In a statement he said, "As we are confronted with [an] unprecedented crisis inside [and] out, I believe the time has now come for the company [to] start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership." He will step down as soon as his successor can be appointed.
Adbrands Weekly Update 31st Aug 2017: In an extraordinary slap in the face for South Korea's biggest and most powerful corporation, Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jay-Yong was sentenced to five years in prison on charges of bribery and corruption. Lee had been accused of bribing former South Korean president Park Geun-hye to rubber stamp approval of a deal which increased the Lee family's control over its disparate empire, but delivered no other benefits to ordinary shareholders. Park was later deposed and is herself separately on trial on multiple counts of corruption, all of which she denies. Her successor Moon Jae-in has pledged to eliminate ties between government and Korea's 'chaebol' corporate empires. "This is a case where political power and business power colluded immorally," said the judge. "It won’t be easy for the public to regain trust in our institutions as these corrupt ties between the president and big conglomerates are still present." Two other senior Samsung executives were also found guilty. Lee plans to appeal against the verdict, but his prison sentence creates a formal vacuum at the top of the electronics giant. He is vice chairman of the sprawling group, but has effectively led the business since its ailing chairman and founder, his father Lee Kun-hee, suffered a heart attack in 2014. The elder Lee remains in a coma. The group is not expected to suffer any material damage from the incapacitation of both its chairman and vice chairman, but their situation could hasten the appointment of non-family members to those roles and prompt a further reduction of the family's influence.
Adbrands Weekly Update 27th Jul 2017: Shrugging off bad memories of the Note7 tablet and other such challenges, Samsung reported its best-ever quarterly profits, which soared by almost 90% from the year-ago period to the equivalent of $9.9bn. That could put it ahead even of Apple, which traditionally reports weaker numbers for the quarter to June. Samsung's revenues surged by an impressive 20% to around $54.5bn. Components sold to rival manufacturers (including Apple) now account for around 70% of profits, but the group also enjoyed a strong contribution from the latest Galaxy 8 mobile handset, which it said has out-sold its predecessor in almost all global markets.
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