Posted : 2012-11-30 17:05
Updated : 2012-11-30 17:05

Samsung boss calls for tackling challenges

Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee, center, enters the Ho-Am Art Center, downtown Seoul, with his wife Hong Ra-hee, left, director-general of Leeum Samsung Museum of Art on Friday to celebrate his 25th year as chairman. / Korea Times photo by Shim Hyun-chul

By Kim Yoo-chul

The head of the nation's biggest family-owned conglomerate Samsung Group has called for employees to tackle new challenges to tide over difficulties and become a creative corporation.

At a ceremony marking the 25th anniversary of Lee becoming Samsung chairman, the 70-year-old said, "We still have a long way to go. We should tackle new challenges for a better tomorrow.

''We should start new challenges right now for a bright future. With better Samsung products and improved services, we could help people enjoy a better life,'' Lee said.

The ceremony, the first to be held since Lee took over the company from his late father Lee Byung-chull in 1987, comes as Samsung is aggressively building up its global presence on the back of its crown jewel Samsung Electronics.

Lee started as chairmanship on Dec. 1, 1987, 12 days after Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull passed away. The group reaped 9.9 trillion won in total revenue in 1987.

Samsung expects to reap 384 trillion won in revenue by the end of this year. It has 80 affiliates with Samsung Electronics leading the way. The group's total brand value was estimated at $32.9 billion in January.

Under Lee's reign, Samsung Electronics has risen as the world's top consumer electronics company in televisions and mobile phones. It also passed Apple in the smartphone race though the two companies are involved in legal disputes in 50 different cases on four continents.

Samsung Group is now looking to diversify its money-making affiliates. Among them, Samsung Electronics earns 52 percent of its annual revenue.

''Also, Samsung's handset business took up half of the entire operating profit raised by Samsung Electronics. This is not good,'' said Samsung officials.

''Twenty-five years ago, I had set my goal to grow Samsung as the world's best technology company. That was very challenging and I tried my very best to expand the business, secure key technologies, educate employees and commit more to social activities,'' Lee was quoted as saying in a press release distributed by the Samsung Communication Team.

In the first quarter, the technology unit emerged as the world's biggest mobile phone and smartphone maker, outstripping global handset giants Nokia and Apple.

In a video message to employees, Lee thanked them for taking part in his plan to renovate the group and urged further efforts to move forward.

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