Samsung plans massive business reorganization

23 May 2008

(Associated Press via NewsEdge) Samsung Electronics said it was consolidating some of its key businesses a week after announcing a new executive lineup.

Samsung that it would merge its home theater, DVD and Blu-ray player businesses with its global No. 1 TV business as part of what it called a restructuring plan.

It will also move its digital music player, laptop computer and set-top box businesses from its digital media business to the telecommunications network business.

Set-top boxes bring internet movie downloads to TV sets.

'By bringing its computing and mobile technology together, the company hopes to create new markets and take the lead in the rapidly changing industry,' Samsung said in the statement.

Samsung last week announced an executive reshuffle, which included the naming of Lee Yoon-woo, its former external relations chief, as chief executive officer and vice chairman, replacing long-serving Yun Jong-yong.

The move was seen as speeding up decision-making at Samsung Electronics, the world's largest seller of computer memory chips, televisions and liquid crystal displays. The company ranks No. 2 in mobile phones behind Finland's Nokia.

Samsung also said that Lee Jae-yong, the 39-year-old son of former chairman Lee Kun-hee, was taking on new duties to develop businesses in emerging markets, including China, India, Russia and the other countries of the former Soviet Union.

Lee Kun-hee announced his resignation last month after being indicted on charges of allegedly evading taxes. The indictment followed a high-profile probe by special prosecutors into the family controlled Samsung Group conglomerate, of which Samsung Electronics is the flagship.

Lee Jae-yong, who stepped down last month from his duties as Samsung's chief customer officer while retaining the title of senior vice president, will carry out his new duties from a base in China, said James Chung, a Samsung spokesman.

'He'll move to China as soon as possible,' Chung said of Lee, a Chinese speaker who also goes by Jay Y. Lee.

© 2008 The Associated Press

© 2008 Dialog, a Thomson business. All rights reserved

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