Samsung Electronics CEO Resigns, Citing Unprecedented Crisis In The Coy

The chief executive of Samsung Electronics Kwon Oh-Hyun, resigned on Friday, saying the South Korean tech giant was facing an “unprecedented crisis”, even as it flagged record third-quarter profits.

His resignation comes as the company struggles to overcome a bribery scandal that sent Lee Jae-Yong, its de-facto head and heir to the Samsung empire, to jail.

“As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company (to) start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry”, Kwon said.

“Fortunately, the company is now producing best-ever results but this is merely a fruit of decisions and investment made in the past”, he said in a statement.

South Korea’s largest company has been seeking to move past a bribery scandal that saw Lee thrown into jail, and to overcome a damaging recall last year of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries.

Lee, who was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to the secret confidante of ousted president Park Geun-Hye, is appealing his five-year sentence and says he is innocent.

Kwon’s sudden departure may be a calculated legal tactic to seek a softer punishment for Lee, said Shim Jung-Taik, an author of several books on Samsung and its corporate culture.

“Lee’s lawyers may argue that Samsung, with the veteran Kwon gone, needs its vice chairman back more than ever to lead the firm,” he said, adding that the tactic had often been used by other family-run South Korean business empires.

One analyst who declined to be named said the departure of the 64-year-old Samsung veteran may signal a broader reshuffle at the top.

“Samsung’s CEO-level leadership has remained largely unchanged for past three years, which is like an eternity in the fast-changing tech industry,” said the analyst.

The group has not made any radical changes in its leadership since 2014 when the current chairman Lee Kun-Hee suffered a heart attack that left him bedridden.


Samsung Chief Gets Jailed For Corruption

A South Korean court has found Lee Jae-yong, the de facto chief of the sprawling Samsung business empire, guilty of bribery and other corruption charges.

Lee, the billionaire son of Samsung’s ailing chairman, was sentenced to five years in prison on Friday, well short of the 12-year sentence prosecutors had sought.

The criminal conviction is a blow for Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker and South Korea’s biggest family-run conglomerate whose businesses are estimated to account for around 15% of the country’s entire economy.

The so-called “trial of the century” has gripped South Korea for months. It’s part of a huge influence-peddling scandal that brought down the government of former President Park Geun-hye.

“The public is disappointed that this kind of large-scale crime caused by cozy relations between politics and business still happens — it’s not in the past but remains a reality,” Judge Kim Jin-dong said in court. The judge also laid some of the blame on Park, saying the former president made “aggressive demands” of Samsung.

Wearing a navy suit and holding a manila envelope, Lee remained seated and silent as the judge read out the verdict.

He was found guilty of bribing Park in exchange for government support for a merger that helped him tighten control over Samsung. The 49-year-old executive, who is also known as Jay Y. Lee, has been the de facto leader of Samsung since his ailing father was left incapacitated by a 2014 heart attack.

The court also found Lee guilty of perjury, concealing criminal profits, embezzlement and hiding assets overseas. Lee has denied any wrongdoing, and his lawyers said Friday they reject the court’s decision and will appeal immediately.

Prosecutors presented Lee as a savvy tycoon who knew exactly what he was doing when Samsung paid tens of millions of dollars to entities linked to a confidante of Park in order to win government backing for the key merger.

The conviction caps a rocky 12 months for Samsung, beginning with the embarrassing fiascoover its fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last fall.

Samsung Electronics’ (SSNLF) shares closed down 1.1% in Seoul following the verdict Friday. But the stock is still not far below the record high it hit last month.

And although the guilty verdict is a black mark on Samsung’s reputation, analysts said Lee’s prison sentence is unlikely to affect the tech giant’s day-to-day operations. The company has continued to post strong profits since he was first detained in the case.

Lee is following in the footsteps of many other chiefs of South Korea’s big family-run conglomerates, known as chaebol. His father, Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee, was twice sentenced to prison — and twice pardoned.

Serving jail time “is like a rite of passage,” David Kang, director of the University of Southern California’s Korean Studies Institute, said in an interview before the verdict was announced. “The question will really be how long does he serve.”

Newly elected President Moon Jae-in campaigned as a “clean” candidate, promising to crack down on the power of the chaebol. The question is whether he’ll eventually pardon Lee.

On his first trip to the U.S. earlier this year, Moon was accompanied by about 50 South Korean business leaders, including executives from Samsung and other major conglomerates.

Moon’s administration “is just going to work with these companies,” Kang said. “So how different is it really going to be?”

Four other former Samsung executives were also found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges at the trial on Friday, receiving prison sentences ranging from two and a half to four years. Two of them had their sentences suspended.

They are also all appealing their convictions.

Credit: CNN

The Galaxy Note 8 Might Be Announced On August 23rd

Last month a rumor spread that the Samsung Galaxy Note 8 would be announced in August. We’re now getting further confirmation on that time frame from two Korean publications. The Bell reports that the announcement date will be August 23rd, while another source, The Investor, says a Samsung executive would only confirm the month of August — not a concrete date.

 Still, this is a lot of talk about August, so at this point, I think it might be safe to assume next month is the right timeline for the Galaxy Note 8, especially given that past Note devices have historically been announced late in the summer. Evan Blass at VentureBeat speculates that the new device will have the same 6.2-inch screen as the Galaxy S8 Plus, but will be differentiated by a dual-camera system, as well as its signature S Pen.

The dual-camera system could be positioned horizontally, Blass says, and be comprised of two 12-megapixel sensors. The fingerprint sensor will also likely be next to the cameras, just like it is on the S8. Blass also reports that the phone will cost €999, or slightly over $900 in the US. It might be released in black, blue, and gold. August isn’t so far away, so I imagine we should be getting event invites soon.

Banky W Renews Contract With Samsung Mobile Nigeria

The Nigerian singer Banky W “Mr Capable” renews his contract with a technology company Samsung. The singer has always been a brand Ambassador for the said technology company for quite sometime, and the company decided to renew their contract with him to keep him as a Brand Ambassador.

The singer who just recovered from a fire out break had so much smiles on his face as he signed the contract, not think about what he almost lost during the fire outbreak.

“He said in the fire, he almost lost  his dog, and his Awards, but his grateful to God that it was just and Air conditional that was lost to the fire and not his life.”

Banky W exclusively revealed that it was a minor fire incident that happened in the early hours of Tuesday, February 28, 2017.

The singer said:

Feeling really #blessed today as I’ve just renewed my contract for yet ANOTHER year with my @samsungmobileng family.

Working with and repping the brand has been an amazing honour.. big shout out to the MD Emmanouil Revmatas, the brand manager, and the entire team in the building.

I’m proud of the work we have done thus far, and I’m excited about the challenges ahead that we will conquer together.

Congratulation Banky W!

“Great”- The Codename For Samsung Galaxy Note 8

Following the disaster that was the Galaxy Note 7, there were some who were skeptical that Samsung would be releasing a follow-up device, although this has since been put to rest as Samsung has confirmed that they will be releasing a Galaxy Note 8 handset this year. Now thanks to a report from SamMobile, some very early details have been leaked.

According to the report, they are claiming that the upcoming Note 8 has been designated with a codename “Great”, which sounds like Samsung’s way to trying to boost morale and to try and make the Note 8 a great handset that the Note 7 had the potential to be. To be fair our review of the Note 7 found it to be an excellent device, and had it not been for the fire hazard we’re sure that it would have gone on to do very well.

The report also goes on to claim that the model number for the Note 8 will be the SM-N950F, something to keep an eye out for should the handset be only referenced by its model number in future benchmark sightings and whatnot. This model number is said to be for the international unlocked variant, so expect that versions designated for other countries or carriers to be slightly different.

In any case take it with a grain of salt, but we expect that more details about the Note 8 should start trickling out in the near future, although right now we guess the focus is on the upcoming Galaxy S8 which will be officially announced on the 29th of March.

Credit: Ubergizmo

Buhari Identifies Dangote, GE As Strategic Investors

President Muhammadu Buhari has described Dangote Group, General Electric, among others, as strategic investors sustaining African economy and urged them not to relent.

He called on other investors in Africa to consider the strategic nature of investments made by the conglomerates and emulate them in order to enhance the value of the continent’s economy.

The President made this remarks during the opening of proceedings at the sixth African Petroleum Congress and Exhibition (CAPE VI), which was organized by the African Petroluem Producers Association (APPA) in the Federal Capital.

President Buhari, who was represented at the occasion by his Vice, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, identified some of the companies adding the most value to the Nigerian economy through their ingenious investment as GE, Dangote Group, Ladol shipyard, and Samsung, among others.

According to the President, African countries should develop ingenious ways of promoting value addition and investment through sustainable policies in local content.

He added: “A common approach to local content will ensure that the whole of Africa benefits from economies of scale associated with our vast resources.”

Buhari noted that ongoing mega projects “like the General Electric Service Centre for manufacturing rotating equipment in Calabar; the Ladol industrial free zone in Lagos – wholly indigenous, privately developed and hosting the largest shipyard in West Africa, the 650,000 barrels per day (bpd) Dangote indigenous refinery in Lagos and the Samsung FPSO Integration Yard in Lagos; to mention a few”, were some of the most strategic initiatives to the struggling African economy.

According to him, the Continent must recognize that the development of domestic refining capacity in oil and gas would remain critical to her sustainable economic growth as reliance on importation would continue to stunt her growth.

The president also noted that Nigeria which recently announced a new timeline to end gas flaring at her oil fields was on course to see this out.

“The use of gas in Africa’s future energy mix has become imperative. If Africa must meet her future energy needs, the issue of the development of a robust gas infrastructure must be jointly addressed.

“In processing Africa’s hydrocarbon resource, environmental issues must be accorded huge priority. Globally, over 150 billion cubic meters of associated gas is flared annually, of this figure, Africa flares an estimated 40 billion cubic meters annually.

“In Nigeria, gas flaring amounts to about 23 billion cubic meters per annum in over 100 flare sites constituting over 13 per cent of global gas flaring,” he explained.

The president added that: “Nigeria is a member of the World Bank Global Gas Flaring Reduction (GCFR) Partnership and with the support of our legislature, we will sign the United Nations Agreement of ‘Zero Routine Flaring by 2030’, although our national target is 2020.

“I urge all APPA member countries to set realistic targets for gas flare-out in the region.”

Buhari also tasked African oil producing countries on developing local capacities to match Africa’s desire to beneficially use her oil resources.

Also speaking on the sidelines of the meeting, the Minister of State for Petroleum Resources, Dr. Ibe Kachikwu, stated that the conference offered African oil producers the opportunity to look deeper into their challenges and come up with realistic solutions.

Kachikwu noted that amongst the continent’s producers’ challenges in mining oil, funding operations remains the most.

He said in this regard, “it is a new dawn for Africa and we are excited about the development. We will continue to work collaboratively because there is a lot happening in the space but also a lot of challenges that we have to overcome.”

He stated that: “The major challenge is funding. Obviously skillsets are there already and technology is not an issue but funding remains key.

“Policies are also key because African governments have to develop policies that will enable backward integration into their own systems.”