In the middle of a technological storm, with five of the largest companies in the sector (Amazon, Alphabet-Google, Microsoft, Meta and Apple) announcing more than 50,000 layoffs, Samsung, the Korean giant, stands out.
Tae Moon Roh (TM Roh), president and director of Mobile eXperience Business at Samsung Electronics, confirms, after the presentation of the brand's latest models in San Francisco, that the company's forecast is to keep the workforce in Europe and the production centers.
The strategy, according to the manager responsible for 80% of the group, consists of "maintaining investment in research and development to be prepared when the market changes".
"Samsung will keep the production centers in Europe, as well as the research and development facilities, because they are very important to us and our operations."
In this way, Roh moves away from the trend of other large technology companies and is committed to enduring the storm while waiting for a favorable evolution of the market, which has dragged down seven years of sales declines in the mobile sector.
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Samsung's global network, which sells 35% of Europe's smartphones, in addition to accounting for a large part of the world market for semiconductors and household appliances, has 266,673 employees in 230 centers spread across 74 countries.
Spain represents a small part of this network, with 340 direct jobs and more than 15,000 indirect jobs, according to company data.
The latest results of the multinational are in line with those of the large technology companies: the operating profit between September and December of the last year was 3,500 million dollars (3,261 million euros), 69% less than a year ago.
It is the company's weakest operating result since the third quarter of 2014 and the entity attributes it to "weak demand amid a global economic slowdown."
However, while the rest of the companies in the sector have pointed to a cut in labor costs, Samsung has opted for an opposite strategy and will maintain its investments, which in 2022 amounted to 39,000 million dollars (36,300 million euros), at waiting for a recovery this year in the chip market (semiconductors) and mobile phones next year, especially in the high-end range.
“We see the opportunity to turn the disadvantage into an opportunity for the future,” says Roh.
For this strategy, Samsung has sought great alliances.
During the presentation of the Galaxy S23 range, the highest representatives of two other technological giants were present: Cristiano Amon, president of Qualcomm (designer of the next-generation semiconductors that the Korean company has adopted, despite being also a manufacturer of these) and Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google's vice president of platforms and ecosystems, who did not hesitate to show his Samsung phone, despite the fact that his company markets its own devices.
The objective of this alliance is the development of new devices and experiences linked to the so-called extended reality, the generation of digital environments integrated into the real world from virtual, augmented and mixed realities.
Another path of development is its own roadmap.
TM Roth makes it clear: "We are not affected by what other companies do."
In this sense, the Samsung executive affirms that his commitment to folding models continues and he is confident that they will "gain popularity" as their usability (ease of use) becomes more known and they continue to develop.
The also vice president of the multinational sets 2025 as the final takeoff year for these models.
Roth doesn't think the market is exhausted.
"There is territory left to explore," he says.
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