Shin heads Samsung’s underperforming mobile division and it had been expected that he would have to clean out his desk and be lead sobbing from the building with a photocopy box of his personal items.
Shin has been told will continue to head the electronics unit’s mobile division despite sagging smartphone sales. Semiconductor business chief Kwon Oh-hyun and consumer electronics head Yoon Boo-keun also kept their jobs.
What appears to have happened is that Jay Lee, likely successor and only son of group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, opted to keep his father’s key lieutenants in place to ensure stability. His own position is not exactly consolidated yet and he needs a few more people who owe him to keep his control on the company.
Chung Sun-sup, head of local research firm Chaebul.com pointed out that Samsung was undergoing major changes in the midst of the succession process. It would have been too unsettling to change leadership.
Chairman Lee Kun-hee has not even indicated that he has stepped back for good, and he appointed Shin, Yoon and Kwon. It might have been too much for Vice Chairman Jay Lee to change the people his father put in position.
Lee the younger needs more time to shore up his position in South Korea’s largest conglomerate with his father still in hospital after a heart attack in May.
Lee the Younger pointed out that Shin was “a major contributor in Samsung Electronics’ emergence as the top global player in the handsets business” and would be given an opportunity to turn the business around.