Samsung leadership focuses on success amid scandal

Global Business

Earlier this month, the heir to the Samsung business empire, Lee Jae-Yong, was back in court appealing his five-year sentence for bribing South Korea’s former president Park Geun-Hye.

At an event hosted by the Economic Club of Washington, the Chief Executive of Samsung Electronics is finding it hard to discuss this ongoing legal saga.

CGTN’s Daniel Ryntjes reports.

Club president David Rubenstein asked Samsung’s CEO how the scandal has affected the company and what it feels like to see the grandson of the founder in jail.

“It’s a kind of tragedy, so it’s underway, so I cannot comment on the situation,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, Chief Executive Officer, Samsung Electronics. “But I think business wise we’re doing pretty well, when you take up the index.”

Indeed, Samsung Electronics has just announced that it expects soaring profits of $12.8 billion for the third quarter, driven by the success of its market-leading semiconductors business. Oh-Hyun Kwon also announced his resignation, staying on for several months to help engineer a replacement who can offer new direction.

“As you know the IT industry, all the other industries, it’s changing so fast,” said Oh-Hyun Kwon, Chief Executive Officer, Samsung Electronics. “Nobody can expect what’s going on in the next ten years. So that means, how to prepare for the company to sustain. The important thing is how to change our corporate cultures and mentality and how to educate the talent.”

At a time of huge success and disruption for his company, the world’s largest smartphone maker, the outgoing CEO of Samsung Electronics is acknowledging uncertainty about the future of technology and his company.

In the meantime at this developers conference in San Francisco, Samsung is still running at full speed toward what’s known as “the internet of things”, networking together objects and machines in the home and at work.

Samsung virtual assistant Bixby takes center stage at developers conference

Standing before 5,000 developers in San Francisco, Samsung’s President of Mobile Communication urges the audience to join forces in building an intelligent ecosystem that has no limits.

CGTN’s Mark Niu reports.

“We live in a world with billions of devices,” said Samsung President of Mobile Communication DJ Koh. “I agree everyone will be united across a common platform. “ He went on to say, “I dream intelligence is embedded in every device., constantly learning, connecting and adapting.”

In the race to make devices smarter, Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri have all become stars of the virtual assistant space.

Samsung is playing catch up, having introduced its own Bixby just six months ago. The Samsung teams showed us how Bixby can dig into apps and perform some complicated tasks such as finding pictures with animals

TECHnalysis Research Chief Analyst Bob O’Donnell said none of the voice assistants are great.

“Alexa’s pretty good,” said O’Donnell. “I think it’s arguably one of the better ones. But there are still challenges there. All of them are still limited by a single command response. We don’t really have conversations with them yet.”

Samsung is working to put Bixby into the devices of both its partners and its own vast product line.

The firm says as long as you’re not sleeping, when you are in your home, 60% of the time you spend in the kitchen. You don’t necessarily want to hold a smartphone if your hands are dirty and you’re working with food. That’s why they have the family home smart fridge. Security, you can talk to it, click on recipes. It can also tell you how to prepare that dessert you are craving. Bixby gives directions.

“The thing about Samsung is, they have a presence in more places in most people’s homes than any other company,” said O’donnell. “They’ve got TV’s, appliances, they have smartphones, computers. They really want to leverage all the places that they are.” He added that they are trying to bring intelligence together and then unite them behind Bixby as the means for interfacing all of them.

Samsung is even taking Bixby to devices that are not smart and other products without network connectivity.

Samsung CTO Injong Rhee demonstrated this by connected an old speaker with a prototype dongle that’s embedded with a microphone and wifi capability.

The vision is to have all things around you connected, so when you talk to Bixby, the nearest device responds no matter what form it may take.