Samsung Electronics in 2004


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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTA109
Case Length : 20 Pages
Period : 1969 - 2004
Organization : Samsung Electronics
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note :Not Available
Countries : South Korea
Industry : Electronics

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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"We will devote our people and technology to create superior products and services, thereby contributing to a better global society."

- Samsung

Introduction

In July 2004, when Business Week published its survey of top brands in the world , Samsung, one of South Korea’s best-known business groups, was 21st on the list. Samsung had also surpassed its archrival, the erstwhile Hyundai Group, to become the largest chaebol in South Korea.

Samsung's flagship company was Samsung Electronics, the world's leading manufacturer of dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) and other memory chips, and a global player in electronic gear including LCD panels, DVD players, and cellular phones.

Background Note

Japan-educated Lee Byung-Chull (Lee) started a rice mill in Korea in 1936, which was then under Japanese rule. By 1938, Lee began trading in dried fish and established Samsung (Korean for "three stars"). The Second World War left Korea fairly unscathed, and by the end of the war Samsung had entered transportation and real estate.

The Korean War destroyed most of Samsung’s assets. Left with a brewery and an import business for UN personnel, Lee reconstructed Samsung in South Korea. He formed the highly profitable Cheil Sugar Company, then the country's only sugar refinery, in 1953. Textile, banking, and insurance ventures followed...

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