Samsung Employees Fear Layoffs, Declining Mobile Profits to Blame

Earlier this month, it was reported that Samsung executives have suffered a decline in their take-home salaries amid poor smartphone sales and now, a Reuters report is claiming that the staff at Samsung have never been so anxious ahead of the annual reshuffle, as the company’s worst earnings in three years are expected to cost a significant number of jobs.

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The Korean tech giant is expected to announce its annual personnel changes in early December. Thanks to Chinese rivals like Xiaomi at the low end and the new iPhones at the top, Samsung’s third-quarter operating profit fell by nearly two thirds, leading to speculation that mobile business head J.K. Shin could be on the way out. “People are very uneasy; even the senior management are asking around about what might be coming,” a Samsung employee said.

The Maeil Business Newspaper, a local business daily, recently reported the company could cut 20 percent of executive positions across the board, including 30 percent from its mobile division.

This year’s appointments will also offer a glimpse of how heir-apparent Jay Y. Lee plans to lead the tech giant. The younger Lee, 46, has been the de-facto decision maker as his father, Samsung Group patriarch Lee Kun-hee, remains hospitalised following a heart attack in May. “We talk a lot about which of the senior executives will still be with us,” another Samsung employee told Reuters. “What happens to them will determine how we will need to work.”

Samsung employed nearly 290,000 people in 2013, about a third of them in the firm’s home country.