Samsung refreshes board with scandal-free members

It has been just over a year since former boss Lee Jae-yong was arrested and charged for his alleged role in a political and corporate scandal, and now Samsung has a refreshed board and new structure.

Samsung Electronics has held its Annual General Meeting of Shareholders in which new members have been elected to the Board of Directors. A few fresh faces will provide a suitable amount of new opinion as the business continues to repair a tarnished reputation. We can only imagine that at the end of 2016, the team were looking back at the disaster which was exploding phones relieved that they would only be in the press for the right reasons from now on. How wrong they were.

Lee is of course a free man now has been released from prison now after a successful appeal. He will be on probation for a year, but is back in the business and on the board. This has been poorly received by the community on the whole, as there is a feeling that any moves made by Samsung to improve transparency and decision-making will only be undermined by the presence of Lee.

In terms of the changes, President and former CFO Sang-Hoon Lee has been elected to the board and will take the role of Chairman. This is the first time the role of Chairman and CEO has been separated, and perhaps a PR governance move from the team which need to generate some positive headlines.

“The separation will further empower the Board of Directors and enhance its independence,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, the out-going Chairman. “The Board will be able to evaluate the Company’s performance more objectively and have greater authority and efficiency as a decision making body.”

The bosses of the three divisions have also been elected, Presidents Kinam Kim (Device Solutions), Hyunsuk Kim (Consumer Electronics), and Dongjin Koh (IT & Mobile Communications), while three new candidates have been nominated for independent positions.

While the Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus were the major device launches at Mobile World Congress this year, the Samsung team will almost certainly be hoping for a quieter year. While it might be considered out of the ordinary to be praying for a scandal-free 12 months, this would certainly be against trends for Samsung.

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