“Sense of crisis” at Samsung as Chairman Lee Kun-hee returns home

Samsung Electronics’ Chairman, Lee Kun-hee returned to Seoul after a three month trip to Japan and Hawaii, which sparked concerns about a shakeup at the world’s largest smartphone vendor. Upon his arrival, he told journalists, “You should always have a sense of crisis. You should run faster and always study to have insights,” The Korea Times reports. There has always been a major shakeup inside Samsung whenever Mr Lee has taken a long international vacation and in 2010 he had said that majority of Samsung’s products would be gone in 10 years and he cut senior management paycheques and limited their international travel. In 1993, he had famously proclaimed, “Change everything but your wife and kids.” The management and business changes post that has led Samsung to where it is today.

The biggest crisis for Samsung right now is its reliance on its smartphone division for revenues. Samsung, last week, announced its preliminary forecast for Q1 2013 earnings where it forecasted revenues to be 53 percent higher than last year, mostly due to smartphone sales. Lee is also thought to be worried about its patent skirmishes with Apple, which till now had been one of its biggest component clients. Apple is now slowly moving away from Samsung for components that go in its hardware products including the iPhone and iPad, which compete with Samsung’s Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets.

Lee is expected to address reporters in Seoul on Wednesday to share his thoughts and plans for this year.

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