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Samsung's Lee Shifts Strategy in Challenge to Apple

  • Bloomberg, Tuesday, August 31, 2010 10:47 AM
Samsung Electronics is no longer a copycat appliance manufacturer. It's a consumer electronics behemoth, writes Yoolim Lee, that is the world's largest maker of flat-panel TVs, color laser printers that scan, fax and copy, liquid-crystal-display TVs and computer monitors. It's also No. 2 in mobile phones, with 22% global share, up from 14.4% in 2007.

"The global list of top companies is being replaced by the likes of Apple, Google and Facebook," Choi Gee Sung, 59, tells Lee in his first interview since becoming CEO in December. "Our job is to prepare the organization for the next generation so it can continue to evolve into a truly great company." That would include products like a robot maid that wowed at least one analyst.

But getting there admittedly means shifting strategy in its 67 units from a top-down management approach to a culture where creativity can flourish, as it does at, say, Apple. "In 10 years, the majority of products that represent Samsung may no longer exist," says Lee Kun Hee, son of the founder of Samsung Group and chairman of the electronics unit. "We must have a new start. There is no time to hesitate."



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