Samsung Warns of Slowing Growth in Key Markets Amid Uncertaintyby
Co-CEO Kwon urges employees to learn from firm’s failures
Underscores risks from trade protectionism, currency moves
Samsung Electronics Co. sees growth slowing in key markets and uncertainties increasing around trade protectionism and currency fluctuations.
In his annual New Year’s speech Monday, Samsung Vice Chairman and Co-Chief Executive Officer Kwon Oh-hyun urged employees to learn from costly failures as the consumer electronics giant seeks to recover from 2016’s bruising debacle surrounding the Note 7 smartphone.
“We should not compromise with even the tiniest problems in product quality,” Kwon said at the company’s headquarters in Suwon, South Korea. “Let’s recover our pride by improving manufacturing processes and safety inspections.”
The Note 7’s tendency to catch fire prompted a global recall and the marquee product was eventually scrapped. The fiasco cost the world’s largest smartphone maker more than $6 billion and pushed profits at its mobile business to a record low in the third quarter. The company was also embroiled in allegations being investigated by South Korean prosecutors that the merger of its two affiliates in 2015 may have received favorable government treatment.
While Samsung has been battling these kinds of challenges, its rivals have been focusing on and investing in key future technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data, Kwon said. He asked employees to help the company widen its technology leadership through continued innovation and business enhancements.