Samsung Electronics promotes 42 executives at chip biz amid chief’s absence

SEOUL-- South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday that it has promoted 42 employees to senior management posts at its chipmaking business as part of its latest regular personnel appointment, five months later than usually, as its vice chairman has been arrested for alleged graft charges.

On Thursday, the world's largest manufacturer of smartphones also carried out a partial personnel appointment, which affected 54 executive level posts at its consumer electronics and smartphone businesses.

Samsung usually carries out a reshuffle of its corporate brass around the end of a year, but changes for 2016 have been delayed as Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong has been embroiled in the corruption scandal that led to the ouster and the arrest of former President Park Geun-hye.

Lee was arrested and indicted in February on charges of giving or promising bribes to the ousted president's close friend Choi Soon-sil as kickbacks in return for the government helping him secure control of the group through a merger of two key units.

The overall size of the appointment was significantly smaller than a year earlier. In its regular personnel reshuffle in 2015, a total of 135 executives were promoted.

Samsung's chip division raked in an operating income of a record 6.31 trillion won (US$5.6 billion) on strong prices and good demand.

Samsung is widely expected to bask in record high earnings this year on the back of a robust chipmaking business and a recovery in sales of its high-end smartphone -- the Galaxy S8 series.

Preorders for the flagship smartphone have been better than expected, the company said earlier. The device hit the local market in late April.

Samsung has been focusing efforts to promote the device at home and abroad to put to rest the ill-fated Galaxy Note 7. Sales of the phablet were suspended last year after some caught fire while being recharged.

Source: Yonhap News Agency

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