[THE INVESTOR] Samsung Group has decided to postpone its annual December reshuffle of top executives to next year amid an ongoing probe into the snowballing presidential scandal.
It is the first time that Samsung has delayed the reshuffle that usually comes in early December, after 2008 when Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Kun-hee was probed for creating slush funds.
According to industry sources, the Future Strategy Office, the group’s control tower, has recently informed affiliates about the delay.
The nation’s largest conglomerate is under investigation for providing some 20 billion won (US$17 million) to bogus organizations run by Choi Soon-sil, President Park Geun-hye’s long-time confidante, who is at the center of the influence-peddling scandal.
Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, the heir apparent, is also scheduled to attend a parliamentary hearing on Dec. 6 to be questioned about the dubious funding and his secret meeting with the president last year.
A Samsung official said the exact schedule for the delayed reshuffle has not yet been decided, while some sources say the reshuffle could be delayed to February.
Samsung usually promotes some 300 executives in December, while the reshuffle of lower-ranking employees comes in March.
The planned reshuffle is expected to reflect Samsung’s ongoing business restructuring ahead of the leadership transfer to a new generation. Some punitive relocations are also likely at the flagship Samsung Electronics following the unprecedented recall of the fire-prone Galaxy Note 7 in October.
By Kim Young-won (firstname.lastname@example.org)