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Samsung sets out in search of ‘unprecedented’ technology

Dec. 11, 2023 - 14:53 By Jo He-rim
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong (right) inspects a construction site of the company's semiconductor R&D complex being built in Giheung, Gyeonggi Province, in October. (Samsung Electronics)

Samsung Electronics has established new teams devoted to forging new ideas for the future of its smartphones and home appliances businesses, according to the company on Monday.

The latest organizational restructuring of the tech giant comes as its chairman, Lee Jae-yong, has emphasized technological development as the key to survival amid growing uncertainties in the global economy.

To strengthen its device experience division that oversees the company's mobile devices together with home appliances, Samsung launched the Biz Development Group under the same division, a company official explained.

The new group is led by Executive Vice President Paek Jong-soo, who also heads the existing business support task force, which is responsible for the company's strategy planning, mergers and acquisitions and personnel appointment for Samsung affiliates.

Separate Biz Development units are also being established for each of the three teams of the device experience division: for mobile devices, TVs and home appliances.

"The Biz Development Group is expected to create synergies with other future-oriented entities within the conglomerate, with its main focus on consumer devices and appliances," the Samsung official said.

Samsung also established what it calls the Beyond Technology Office in August this year, running under Chief Technology Officer Cheun Kyung-whoon, who is also president of Samsung Research.

The Korean tech giant aims to not only strengthen its existing businesses, but also to explore new items in a long-term perspective, the official said.

"Let's develop unprecedented technology to make the future," Lee, the Samsung chief, said during his visit to the construction site of the company's semiconductors R&D complex being built in Giheung, Gyeonggi Province, in October.

"I have thought over and over (on ways for the company's survival). And I think the answer is technology no matter what," Lee stressed in an earlier speech.

"The survival is up to how fast we make new technologies ours."

In the latest reshuffle late last month, the firm also set up a new control tower in charge of exploring future business items that are "totally different" from existing businesses in the next decade. The company appointed a top-level Samsung veteran, Vice Chairman Jun Young-hyun, as its leader.

Eyes are on what items the new team will present as Lee's new business for the next decade.

Under the late former Chairman Lee Kun-hee, the current chairman's father, Samsung had a "new business promotion" team that picked out the five future business items to develop in the 2000s and 2010s. The five items chosen at the time were solar energy, light-emitting diodes, batteries for cars, biopharmaceuticals and medical devices.

Samsung is also ramping up its research facilities, appointing Vice Chairman Kyung Kye-hyun as the head of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology. Kyung additionally leads the device solutions division, overseeing global operations of the company's semiconductors business.

Samsung's top think tank has several units focused on the latest technologies, including artificial intelligence algorithms, computing platforms, augmented reality, metaphotonics and nanotechnologies.

This year, Samsung is expected to have executed its largest-ever investment funds for research and facility development, at about 53.7 trillion won ($40.7 billion).