Samsung Group is establishing itself as a CEO training school as a large number of former Samsung executives are increasingly taking up leadership positions at big local firms

Samsung emerges as CEO training school

Lee Jin-myung, Sohn Jae-gwon

2014.02.05 17:49:04

Samsung Group is establishing itself as a CEO training school as a large number of former Samsung executives are increasingly taking up leadership positions at big local firms.
Among the companies which have put aside their pride and joined the spree of recruiting ex-Samsung executives are some of the country’s largest firms, including SK Group, KT, Dongbu Group and Doosan Group. If CEOs at medium-sized firms and those who have landed at vice president and executive director jobs are counted, the number of former Samsung men who have taken up top official positions far exceeds 100. 
SK Group recruited Lim Hyung-kyu, former director of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, as vice chairman of SK Hynix, as well as two other former Samsung vice presidents as presidents of its semiconductor unit. KT also appointed former Samsung Electronics president Hwang Chang-gyu as CEO while placing a number of ex-Samsung officials in executive positions for financial administration.
Dongbu Group also appointed former Samsung C&T Corp. vice president Lee Jae-hyung as CEO of Dongbu Lightec Co., as well as filling the president positions at Dongu Corp., Dongbu HiTek Co. and Dongbu Robot Co. with people who had previously worked for Samsung.
Samsung’s experience as No. 1 in such segments as TV and semiconductors is the major reason for the South Korean business community to scout former Samsung executives. “There is a definite difference between people who have experienced being No. 1 and those who have not,” a Samsung official said. “People who have been in the No. 1 position challenge themselves no matter what, but it is easy for those without the experience to give up.”
That companies are recruiting ex-Samsung executives regardless of specialty and affiliate is seen as an attempt to receive a transfusion of Samsung’s corporate culture which prioritizes efficiency through role sharing over hierarchy to increase productivity.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (, the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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