Samsung mobile co-CEO says Note phone unlikely in 2021
Shareholders of Samsung Electronics were in fierce disagreement over whether company vice chairman Lee Jae-yong should remain in his post following his conviction and jail term from bribery charges, during the company’s annual shareholders meeting on Wednesday
One shareholder, who said they were member of local NGO People's Solidarity for Participatory Democracy (PSPD), said Lee should be fired from his post as vice chairman following his sentencing to two and a half years in jail. The shareholder also questioned the role of the compliance committee to Samsung executives at the meeting, as the organization determines the vice chairman’s employment.
In response, Samsung vice chairman and co-CEO Kim Ki-nam, who chaired the meeting, said the company will comprehensively review the matter in consideration of the company situation, related laws and the role of the vice chairman as some one who decide on future businesses and who has a global network.
On the compliance committee, Kim said it was set up so that Samsung Electronics and Samsung affiliates could be monitored on their compliance to the law. The committee continuously expressed its opinion on law compliant management and was continuing its activities to make a culture of compliance to the law could be rooted in the most senior executives of the conglomerate.
Another shareholder expressed a completely different opinion, saying Lee should keep his post as vice chairman and claiming that his prison term was “unjust.” Other shareholders applauded following the statements.
Questioned on Samsung’s future merger and acquisitions, Kim said the company was looking into areas where it could strengthen its existing businesses and create synergy. While he could not specify when these merger and acquisitions will take place do to under certainties, Samsung would look for new opportunities through them going forward, Kim said.
Some of the shareholders pointed out that Samsung was behind TSMC in the foundry sector. Kim said it was true that Samsung’s foundry business was behind to TSMC in production capacity and market share, but stressed that he didn’t believe it was behind in advanced process technology. Samsung will expand its production capacity with efficient spending at the right time and narrow its gap with TSMC, the vice chairman said. The South Korean tech giant will also continue new its leadership position in display driver IC and strive to become the leader in image sensors, Kim said.
Questioned on Micron narrowing its gap with Samsung in memory, the vice chairman said the South Korean company had “overwhelming competence” in the memory sector and will continue to be the world leader in the area.
DJ Koh, co-CEO and head of Samsung’s IT and mobile communications division, who was also at the meeting, admitted that there was a shortage in semiconductors worldwide, with the unbalance between demand and supply being serious. However, Samsung was working hard to resolve the situation. Koh also said there it would be difficult to launch a product in the Galaxy Note category this year, while there will be one on 2022.
HS Kim, co-CEO and head of Samsung’s consumer electronics division, said OLED TV made by its rivals were great, but Samsung’s own Neo QLED was also great. The company was working hard to offer TVs with greater resolution and better prices, he said.
Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, around 1,000 shareholders attended the meeting. Motions such as fiscal report, naming of directors and pay caps of executives were all passed. Samsung also broadcasted the meeting online for the first time and offered electronic voting for shareholders.