Samsung goes into emergency mode and imposes a six-day work week

Samsung Group, one of South Korea’s largest conglomerates, has announced a significant shift in its executive work structure, introducing a six-day work week for executives. This change, effective as early as this week, is part of a broader strategy to navigate a series of business challenges, including the depreciation of the Korean won, escalating oil prices, and rising borrowing costs. The move follows reports of lower-than-expected results from some of the group’s major businesses in 2023.

Executives from Samsung Electronics Co. and other key subsidiaries, including Samsung Display Co., Samsung Electro-Mechanics Co., and Samsung SDS Co., will work either Saturday or Sunday in addition to the regular five-day work week. This intensified schedule aims to review business strategies and implement changes to address emerging risks, both geopolitical and economic.

Samsung Group’s shift to emergency mode reflects growing concerns about the company’s ability to maintain its market position. “Given that the performance of our major divisions, including Samsung Electronics, fell short of expectations in 2023, we are introducing a six-day work week for executives to evoke a sense of crisis and make every effort to overcome it,” stated a Samsung Group executive.

While executives will work longer hours, employees below management level will continue with their existing five-day work week, a structure Samsung introduced in 2003. This distinction underscores the company’s focus on high-level strategy and leadership amid turbulent times.

Samsung Electronics, the world’s largest memory chip maker, recorded an operating loss of 15 trillion won ($11 billion) in its core semiconductor business in 2023. The device solutions division, responsible for overseeing semiconductors, accounts for about 80% of Samsung’s revenue. Although the company showed signs of recovery with a tenfold increase in operating profit in the first quarter of 2024, uncertainties related to the currency market and political developments loom large.

This strategic shift comes as Samsung aims to strengthen its position against rivals in various markets, including high-bandwidth memory (HBM) and foundries. The company’s transition into emergency mode could set a precedent for other South Korean conglomerates facing similar challenges.

For more details, refer to the source article: KED Global.