New type of leadership needed as chip division faces uphill battle
Executives of Samsung’s chip division have been more collaborative and communicative with their counterparts at partner and supplier companies since the tech giant named Kyung Kye-hyun as the division president, TheElec has learned.
Multiple sources have said executives of Samsung Device Solution (DS) have been forthcoming in sharing information related to Samsung and noticeable soft touches in the way they behave around them.
Since Kyung became CEO this year, he had stressed to the division that they must have “real and honest collaborations” with their partners and had asked executives to be considerate as possible in meetings, the sources said.
The CEO had told executives that “talk is cheap” and told them to show with action for the rest of the DS division to follow, they said.
TheElec has talked to those working at overseas fab equipment companies as well as smaller-sized suppliers based in South Korea.
One CEO of a South Korean supplier said he had met many Samsung executives for nearly thirty years but the mood was very different this year. Samsung executives this year have been very forthcoming with information such as their process roadmap and had told the CEO to request information if need be, they said.
In the past, executives of Samsung’s chip division had been known to mostly be forceful and high-handed when dealing with suppliers.
But Kyung is evaluating executives based on their results through collaboration with Samsung partners, the sources said.
The CEO constantly stresses to Samsung executives not to be arrogant around those from Samsung suppliers, they added.
Kyung was the CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics up to last year and he had been known as a communicative leader there as well.
He stresses constantly that if Samsung’s suppliers do well, Samsung does well as well.
His leadership likely also has to do with Samsung’s chip division's current predicament. DRAM and NAND prices are dropping and hurting the memory business’ profitability. Samsung’s foundry and logic businesses are facing stiff competition.
Samsung currently has around 700 suppliers that it considers tier-1 partners. The annual transaction between the tech giant companies are estimated to be around 31 trillion won a year.