Samsung's strategic overhaul: New business control tower and development units unveiled

Daniel Chiang; Willis Ke, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: AFP

As part of its end-of-year organizational adjustments in 2023, Samsung Electronics has implemented a transformative move by establishing a business control tower within its Device Experience (DX) Division. The primary objective is to spearhead the exploration of new business opportunities, seeking diversified revenue sources and growth engines. This initiative aligns with the conglomerate's broader strategic vision, complementing the recently formed Future Business Planning Unit.

Recent reports from South Korean media outlets, Chosun Biz and Newspim, highlighted Samsung's organizational restructuring. The introduction of a dedicated "Business Development Unit" within the DX Division signifies a strategic focus on new business development. Led by Samsung Vice President Baek Jong-soo, who also heads the firm's New Business Task Force (TF), the BDU will work in tandem with similar units established for the existing major business sectors under the DX Division--Mobile Experience (MX), Visual Display (VD), and Digital Appliances (DA).

Industry analysts point to a challenging landscape in the industry amid a prolonged economic downturn. The DX Division is strategically positioned to address the demand slowdown by concentrating efforts on exploring new businesses capable of generating long-term revenues. This approach aims to counteract industry-wide lackluster performance, except for some high-end products like foldable smartphones.

The DX Division's Business Development Unit will actively collaborate with Samsung's recently established "Future Business Planning Unit." Formed in November, this unit is tasked with devising growth strategies and identifying potential merger and acquisition targets. Operating directly under the vice chairman, this unit extends beyond Samsung's core businesses of semiconductors, home appliances, and automotive applications.

The "Future Technology Secretariat," established in August 2023 under the DX Division to develop new technology and products, will be seamlessly integrated into the Future Business Planning Unit, which will be led by former Samsung SDI chairman Jun Young-hyun. This consolidation reflects Samsung's commitment to overall future-oriented planning and development.

Facing global investments by competitors in emerging areas such as AI, automotive electronics, robotics, and biotechnology, Samsung remains proactive in maintaining its competitiveness. Despite recent performance challenges, Samsung Chairman Lee Jae-yong consistently emphasizes the pivotal role of technology. The company has continued to reinforce its R&D investments, with a notable KRW13.8 trillion (US$10.46 billion) invested in the first half of 2023 alone. With an additional KRW7 trillion allocated in the third quarter, the annual scale of R&D investments in 2023 is expected to surpass the record set in 2022 at KRW24.9 trillion.