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LG Group CEO Canned Because of the iPhone?

Well, everyone’s favorite Korean daily, the Korea Times, has a headline implying that LG Group’s CEO got canned because of the iPhone. Technically, outgoing LG CEO Nam Yong didn’t get fired.  He “voluntarily” tendered his resignation and it was “unanimously” accepted by the board.  I’m not so sure the difference is all that significant.

In any case, although the outgoing LG CEO may not have resigned because of the popularity of the iPhone alone, he most certainly was asked to leave because LG’s mobile phone strategy was ill prepared to properly address the rise of highly profitable Android and iPhone smartphones.  The results?   A second quarter with almost a KRW120 billion (US$101 million) loss.  Wow, that’s practically GM-ish.

Hopefully, new CEO Koo Bon-joon, the younger brother of Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo, will have better luck.  Given the delay of LG’s higher-end Android phones in entering the marketplace, it will probably get worse before it gets better.  Early indications is that the “new” LG Optimus smartphone only has a processor speed of 600MHz, which would already make it obsolete vs. phones like the HTC Desire HD, Motorola Droid X, the Samsung Galaxy-S and the iPhone 4 that have processors in the neighborhood of 1Ghz.  The Financial Times (as usual) isn’t holding any punches by calling LG’s smart phone strategy “disastrous.”

UPDATE 1: Buggar.  Looks like the KT, in their infinite wisdom, changed the headline to the more sedate “LG Electronics names Koo as CEO.”  However, it hasn’t stopped VentureBeat for giving Steve Jobs the credit in getting Nam Yong canned.

UPDATE 2: Ouch!  According to this article, which is drawing from a Yonhap source, looks like Nam isn’t the only one getting canned.  Looks like three or five division heads will get sacked too.

Ahn Seung-kwon, 53, who led LG’s mobile phone business since 2007, is widely expected to be sacked, taking responsibility for the company’s slow reaction to growing smartphone demand.

Get a load of this:

Nam appointed five foreigners from other companies at the top posts in the company’s Seoul headquarter, an unusual move at a Korean company that raised the number of foreign executives to about half of its C-suite managers. They were the chief marketing officer, chief procurement officer, chief supply chain officer, chief human resources officer and chief strategy officer.

But LG faced internal criticism about appointing foreigners from another company at the top posts, and some members even criticized that chief officers failed to adjust to the Korean company’s culture, according to analysts.

Boldface emphasis mine.

  • Awarren

    It is always rather humorous when Korean Chaebol “board” decisions are analyzed in a manner that even suggests normal corporate governance principles. Ok, maybe it’s not quite as bad as the upcoming Workers Party gathering in North Korea for installing that family member, but come on guys – let’s be serious. (Wangkon – I don’t mean this as a criticism of the way you presented this on Marmot’s hole).

    I especially love this quote (from Bloomberg) by the executive director at the Center for Good Corporate Governance in Seoul (does it really matter who this person was) – “While LG Electronics doesn’t appear to have removed its CEO with the purpose of introducing a Koo family member, “if they wanted to save the company and improve profit, someone who is more familiar with the industry may be better suited for the job,” Kim said.”

    I suppose a more interesting question now is what happens to all the foreign executives hired by this out-the-door sacrificial lamb? Just take a look at what happed to the foreign executives hired by SK Telecom to find out.

  • R. Elgin

    “Wang” you reminded me of an earlier thread of yours, from April (500,000 iphones):

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/04/06/500000-iphones-in-korea/#comment-367802

  • Jashin Densetsu

    “Wang” you reminded me of an earlier thread of yours, from April (500,000 iphones):

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/04/06/500000-iphones-in-korea/#comment-367802

    you promoting your lame old comments now bro?

  • R. Elgin

    You pissing on yourself again and calling it fun, bro?

  • Jashin Densetsu

    and dude, are you still slobbering on steve jobs’ knob bro? jobs is a con artist. he’s just a bullshitting salesman. he hasn’t done jack. don’t believe the hype bro.

    Steve Jobs “never had any designs. He has not designed a single project” http://reprog.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/steve-jobs-never-had-any-designs-he-has-not-designed-a-single-project/

    “What I proposed was a computer [the Macintosh] that would be easy to use, mix text and graphics, and sell for about $1,000. Steve Jobs said that it was a crazy idea, that it would never sell, and we didn’t want anything like it. He tried to shoot the project down.

    So I kept out of Jobs’ way and went the then-chairman Mike Markkula and talked over every detail of my idea. Fortunately, both Markkula and then-president Mike Scott told Jobs to leave me alone.

    We went off to a different building and built prototypes of the Macintosh and its software, and got it up and running [...] We were trying to keep the project away from Jobs’ meddling. For the first two years, Jobs wanted to kill the project because he didn’t understand what it was really about.

    If Jobs would only take credit for what he really did for the industry, that would be more than enough But he also insists on taking credit away from everyone else for what they did, which I think is very unfortunate.

    I was very much amused by the recent Newsweek article where he said, “I have a few good designs in me still”. He never had any designs. He has not designed a single product. Woz (Steve Wozniak) designed the Apple II. Ken Rothmuller and others designed Lisa. My team and I designed the Macintosh. Wendell Sanders designed the Apple III. What did Jobs design? Nothing.

    In short, Jobs’ only contribution to the Macintosh project was to try unsuccessfully to cancel it.”

  • YBT199

    and dude, are you still slobbering on steve jobs’ knob bro? jobs is a con artist. he’s just a bullshitting salesman. he hasn’t done jack. don’t believe the hype bro.

    Steve Jobs “never had any designs. He has not designed a single project” http://reprog.wordpress.com/2010/09/06/steve-jobs-never-had-any-designs-he-has-not-designed-a-single-project/

    I normally don’t reply to types who don’t know how to use capital letters, but I’ll make an exception for this twunt’s selective quoting to badmouth Steve Jobs – possibly one of the greatest men I have ever shared this planet with.

    You left out this part of the article:

    Now, I have no idea how true all this is. I don’t know enough about Apple history to have a valid opinion. I also note that this is from an interview done 24 years ago, and it’s more than possible that Raskin’s opinions changed before he died in 2005.

    And here is Andy Herzfeld’s take on the matter:

    But ultimately, if any single individual deserves the honor, I would have to cast my vote for the obvious choice, Steve Jobs, because the Macintosh never would have happened without him, in anything like the form it did. Other individuals are responsible for the actual creative work, but Steve’s vision, passion for excellence and sheer strength of will, not to mention his awesome powers of persuasion, drove the team to meet or exceed the impossible standards that we set for ourselves. Steve already gets a lot of credit for being the driving force behind the Macintosh, but in my opinion, it’s very well deserved.

    From http://folklore.org/StoryView.py?project=Macintosh&story=The_Father_of_The_Macintosh.txt&showcomments=1

    Happy trolling! Hey, maybe you could team up with R. Elgin! I believe opposites attract.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    ybt199

    yeah bro just take the ass kisser’s word for it. especially when it’s a bunch of vague cliches and no specifics.

    maybe you could team up with r. elgin and double team that knob bro.

  • YangachiBastardo

    It is always rather humorous when Korean Chaebol “board” decisions are analyzed in a manner that even suggests normal corporate governance principles. Ok, maybe it’s not quite as bad as the upcoming Workers Party gathering in North Korea for installing that family member, but come on guys – let’s be serious

    The local standards of corporate governance are also a big contributor to the Korean discount in the local stock market, if you can live with that and occasionally bump into some disastrous crisis at some big company, you can also reap the benefits of real value investing

  • theotherkorean

    Although LG is know for making solid and good quality electronics, it seems to lag behind Samsung when it comes to marketing savvy and producing the product that gives it brand name recognition. In addition to being out of touch with reality, the group seems to lack the competitive juices and well for a lack of a better word the cleverness and agility when it comes to introducing new products or business ideas. No wonder it wasn’t able to create its own answer to the iPhone and the Galaxy.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    The real problem with Android and Microsoft’s forthcoming Windows Phone 7 are that they reduce the phone makers to the same status as the commoditized makers of “white box” PCs — no room for innovation, and consequently no market power that follows from innovation. As Admiral Ackbar would warn, It’s a trap!

  • YangachiBastardo

    no room for innovation, and consequently no market power that follows from innovation

    Market power stems from branding, which is an outcome of aspirations and dreams, and it is scarcely and loosely tied to innovation unless you really believe BMW’s are so much intrinsically better than generic brand cars of comparable power, Armani jeans worth the 150 $ premium over Walmart trousers and Apple phones so incredibly superior to Nokia and Samsung

  • Attorney

    John Gruber’s take on the LG firing:

    http://daringfireball.net/linked/2010/09/17/lg

  • Attorney

    YangachiBastardo: “Market power stems from branding, which is an outcome of aspirations and dreams, and it is scarcely and loosely tied to innovation unless you really believe BMW’s are so much intrinsically better than generic brand cars of comparable power, Armani jeans worth the 150 $ premium over Walmart trousers and Apple phones so incredibly superior to Nokia and Samsung”

    Marketing a crappy or even just ordinary product based on aspirations and dreams won’t work for long. Unless the product is of high quality, it won’t stick.

    As for innovation, its relative importance depends on the product and industry. The app phone is a technology product in a relatively new category, and innovation is thus a larger part of what constitutes ‘quality’ in this category.

    What many iPhone critics don’t understand, however, is that the quality of the iPhone is not the sum of its geek feature list or the ‘comparable power’ of each feature (the competitive basis of traditional phone manufacturers) but in the selection of what features to provide and what to exclude and how they work together with the whole product ecosystem of apps, iTunes, the App Store business model and quality control, the easy-to-develop-for iOS, related products that also use iOS (iPod touch, iPad), easy sharing of apps and music and video files within the ecosystem, etc. Viewed from this perspective, buying an iPhone really is that much of a better experience than buying phones that try to compete from Samsung, Nokia, Motorola, etc.

    We can see this even more clearly with the iPad. It’s not the first tablet computer by any means, and it has a feature list that can be copied. Yet it is the first _commercially successful_ tablet computer by a large margin because of the innovation that has gone into it to make the features work so well and the product ecosystem that the iPhone is also connected to.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    Yet it is the first _commercially successful_ tablet computer by a large margin because of the innovation that has gone into it to make the features work so well and the product ecosystem that the iPhone is also connected to.

    no numbnuts. it’s been commercially successful cuz the homo population and the semi-queer, urban, obama voting, liberal pussy, reedy voiced, skinny jeans wearing, soy sipping, worthless hipster population have exploded bro.

    there’s nothing more pathetic than a grown man shooting a load over something designed for girls and cross dressers.

    pro tip: i heard you don’t even need a wide stance anymore. just flash that iphone through the glory hole and you’re good to go bro.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    whoops my bad bro. sorry for the double post. feel free to delete one of them.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I’m thinking rather seriously about deleting all of them, bro…

  • R. Elgin

    As a footnote, I would also add a picture and ask is this the face of innovation?

    http://www.forbes.com/lists/2008/83/biz_korearichest08_Koo-Bon-Joon_M3B5.html

    IMHO, Brendon really identifies a killing weakness in these products. Korean business (and government) has consistently failed to cultivate innovation in content development or software development and this is a real problem for Korean business in the long runone article here. As of late at least one major Korean game developer has been bought out by the Chinese and I would bet that there will be more Korean software developers going Chinese because of the money and lack of support from the Korean Government.

    The government is absolutely messed up in its self contradictory role as supporter of development and self-made regulator of content, per a decent article in the KT (Government turf war confounds content developers):

    . . . at the core of the confusion (regarding content development) is the squabble between the Korea Communications Commission (KCC), the country’s converged regulator for broadcasting and telecommunications, and the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, which both insist they should have more authority than the other in the handling of digital content policies.

    Which means Korea loses when it could be winning.

  • Attorney

    Jashin Densetsu: “no numbnuts. [the iPad has] been commercially successful cuz the homo population and the semi-queer, urban, obama voting, liberal pussy, reedy voiced, skinny jeans wearing, soy sipping, worthless hipster population have exploded bro.”

    Bro, fyi, men who are secure in their masculinity don’t need to make criticism of a successful new Apple product int0 an excuse to rant about ‘homos’ and metrosexuals.

  • Ut videam

    As a footnote, I would also add a picture and ask is this the face of innovation?

    What’s that supposed to mean? I certainly don’t see anything about his face to suggest that he’s not innovative. Moreover, the guy did a pretty decent job getting LG Display ahead of the curve vis a vis LCD technology.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    I’m thinking rather seriously about deleting all of them, bro…

    whoa bro. why are you gunning for me man? i thought we were cool.

  • Jashin Densetsu

    As a footnote, I would also add a picture and ask is this the face of innovation?

    that’s the face of a dude awkwardly smiling while clenching his cheeks real hard to hold in a huge fart in public.

  • Attorney

    Why is my last comment (no. 13) awaiting moderation when my previous comments required no moderation? Does it include any banned words?

  • tinyflowers

    What Elgin means is that innovation has a face. A white face to be exact.

  • R. Elgin

    Mr. Koo is the 12th richest man in South Korea and brother of LG Chairman Koo Bon-Moo. His is the face of the status quo and not of innovation. As the very first commenter suggests, Mr. Koo is bringing nothing remarkable to the situation. LGs problems are not related to manufacturing LCD or widgets better than anyone else (re-read #1 and 10). Ideas are needed, not diligence.

    Both Brendon and the other “attorney” did a decent job summing up LGs weakness and Apple’s strengths in #10 and 13.

    “Tiny”, “stupidity” has a face and you are wearing it well.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Elgin,

    I respect you. If you respect me, please don’t call me “Wang.” WK, WK936 or WangKon are all acceptable. Thank you.

  • Ut videam

    Elgin,

    His is the face of the status quo and not of innovation.

    Says you.

    His decision to invest heavily in LCD technology early on, when he ran the business between 1999 to 2006, is seen to bode well for his ability to spot trends in the fast-changing mobile phone sector.

    Says the Financial Times in the article linked in the OP. As many have pointed out above, Steve Jobs’ genius is not in innovation, it’s in spotting trends and turning them into gold as part of the Apple ecosystem. Granted, LG has no such ecosystem of which to speak. But I think it’s a bit silly to be crapping on this guy just because he’s a member of the founding family. He does seem to have some chops. Only time will tell if he’s up to this particular task.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Btw… to all,

    I disagree that the appointment of Koo Bon-joon is a sign of typical Korean nepotism. Koo Bon-joon helped turn a hopeless money losing entity known as LG Philips into LG Display, a company that Apple’s so-called “Retinal Display” relies upon. Even Samsung fears/respects LG Display.

    He’s probably LG’s designated hard-ass turnaround guy. I don’t know if LG Electronics really needs a jeans wearing trendy/creative type right now to right the ship. It needs someone to crack the whip. You’ll never see Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee wear denim jeans, but he will bust heads and get shit done and come hell or high water, Samsung will come up with credible responses to iPhones and iPads.

    The Korean corporate and cultural DNA does not produce Steve Jobs that rise to such positions and it may never produce them. But it does create the likes of Koreanized versions of Bill Gates- anal, domineering and hard nosed business men. The Koreans are just dealing the hand that they have been dealt.

  • http://forum.koreansentry.com Koreansentry

    LG have lost smartphone war, they don’t even have real smartphone product yet on the market. However, Smartphone war is not over yet. There are still more than 70% of mobile phone users don’t have smartphone yet. If LG could come up with cheap smartphone, perhaps with less features then they still can get share of pie. I’m expecting cheap smartphone that runs Android which is why I didn’t purchased iPhone, Galaxy S or Desire, these phones are too expensive ($400~$600 range). Frankly, I do not want to spent more than $200 for mobilephone which only going to access limited Internet, allowed portable medias (musics, animations, low end games) and phone features. Who’s going to edit video clips and watch full movies from their portable small screen? What current Smartphone gives users are just limited.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Hey guess what? Apple already offers a “cut-down” version of iPhone. It’s called iPhone 3GS. When you rev the product so substantially every year, last month’s product, at a lowered price, does quite nicely. I think you can get into a 3GS for song right now, and it does a lot more than whatever LG junior version you’re thinking of.

  • R. Elgin

    “WangKon936″, sorry to cause offense when none is intended. I usually abbreviate names instead of typing out the whole thing.

    I really like LG products and have several that will last a long time in my flat but, as I mentioned before, this problem will be addressed by having concept and not by brute force engineering, manufacturing or “spotting trends”. By the time a trend is “spotted”, it is too late. Jobs has been ahead of obviously ahead of trends so to pan him as being a only trend spotter is not a fair description of him.

    Just because Mr. Koo can and will hold a gun to someone’s head does not mean that inspiration will pour out of LG, but I would really like to see LG come back with some great ideas, all the same.

  • theotherkorean

    I disagree that the appointment of Koo Bon-joon is a sign of typical Korean nepotism.

    I disagree with your position. If LG were to produce its own answer to the iPhone and the Galaxy, a whip cracker who will tell the developers what features to add and the designers what type of design to adopt, will create a phone that suits him, but which won’t exactly suit the masses. And we all know what will happen after that.

    As for basing your argument on Mr. Koos turnaround of LG Display, well let’s put it to you this way. LCD and LED panels are commodity products. There’s little or no innovation required. It’s simply a matter of producing a large number of high quality displays, cheaply and quickly to meet the demands of a thirsty market. So here a whip cracker is someone you need.

    Smarphones on the other hand, as we all know, are the exact opposite. They have to have a cool factor , in addition to having features that will make the prospective buyer say “I want that!” in order to succeed. Simply put, a commodity type whip cracker style boss is the last thing LG needs if it’s looking for a foothold in the smartphone market.

    And WK, blind defense of Korean corporate culture isn’t called for here. Yes Korean corporate culture isn’t all that bad, but still there’s more bad than good. Me thinks you should try to get to know more about Korea, before you engage in this type of blind defense. Specifically you shouldn’t depend on the Internet, books, and the media, as your only sources.

  • seouldout

    Koo Bon-joon helped turn a hopeless money losing entity known as LG Philips into LG Display…

    You sure about the link, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369310,00.asp? The article states this: “Koo was responsible for establishing LG Philips LCD, which eventually became LG Display, together with a $1.6 billion investment from Phillips. Koo also led the company to becoming one of the largest TFT-LCD manufacturers, LG said.”

    Where is the info in the linked article about LG Philips being (before Koo’s work) a hopeless money losing entity?

    Philips sold its shares in 2008.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    I think LG.Philips LCD and the former LG.Philips Display are being confused. LG.Philips Display, which made cathode-ray tube displays, went bankrupt in 2006 due to the death of the CRT; it’s later been reorganized and renamed as LP Display.

    The former LG.Philips LCD joint venture (between LG and — surprise! — Philips of the Netherlands), which to my knowledge was never a money-losing enterprise — except if you count its wholly-Korean predecessor LG LCD losing money waaaay before the formation of LG.Philips LCD in 1998 — was renamed as LG Display at the end of December 2008 when Philips sold most of its shares to LG. This LG Display is a world-beating enterprise, even still. I think, but am not certain, that the beautiful 2560 x 1440 27″ iMac panel comes from LG Display.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Oops, it seems LG.Philips LCD did lose some money, in the second quarter of 2006 when it lost US$341 million (W322 billion) due to severe price erosion in the 32-inch panel space. That kind of accounting loss is not uncommon in capital-intensive businesses like the LCD fab business. I would not be surprised if LG Display did turn successive losses as it transitioned to newer technologies, but it would be a stretch to describe that business as ever having been “hopeless”.

    Hopeless is the kind of adjective one applies to a business like Hynix or General Motors, not LG Display.

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    The other LCD technology I’m personally interested in is Sharp’s four-color (RGB + yellow) LCD. Supposedly it renders colors so much better.

    Too bad Sharp’s not allowed to sell in Korea.

  • theotherkorean

    Too bad Sharp’s not allowed to sell in Korea.

    Yes, but I won’t be surprised if the technology for Sharp LCDs finds itself into LG and Samsung LCDs.

  • seouldout

    I don’t mean to be flippant, but this doesn’t jibe with Koo riding in w/ the cavalry to save the day.

  • seouldout

    Those Sharps are very nice btw, but I’d never spend $2000 – 4000 on a TV.

    Why is Sharp prohibited from selling in Korea? Is it because yellow is a protected colour?

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    Koo Bon-joon helped turn a hopeless money losing entity known as LG Philips into LG Display…

    You sure about the link, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2369310,00.asp? The article states this: “Koo was responsible for establishing LG Philips LCD, which eventually became LG Display, together with a $1.6 billion investment from Phillips. Koo also led the company to becoming one of the largest TFT-LCD manufacturers, LG said.”

    Where is the info in the linked article about LG Philips being (before Koo’s work) a hopeless money losing entity?

    Philips sold its shares in 2008.

    LG Philips LCD also was run by Philips, through its designated Representative Director, a Dutch-Indonesian fellow, and a raft of Philips’ secondees, before Philips pulled out

  • http://www.bcarr.com Brendon Carr

    Are the Sharp sets really $2000-4000? There’s that premium for innovation again…

  • seouldout

    From engadget: “The LE820/810 series hits the slightly tinier, 60, 52, 46, and 40-inch screen size markets and boasts 120Hz frame rate conversion and 4ms response time. They’re slightly more within your reach, debuting in March (2010) with prices ranging between $1,800 and $4,000. ”

    I’ve got a large LR w/ big wall to fill, currently filled by a 61″ TV, so I’m going to stay put until I can get a 60″ LED for $1500.

    Sadly for Sharp the consumer is hot and wet for 3D LEDs, so this may drive down prices for their non-3D Quatrron line.

    And thanks for the heads up about Apple’s 27″ LED Cinema Display. At $999 it’s much less than the too-pricey-to-justify-to-the-wife 30″ Cinema Display. Can buy two of ‘em for bit more than one 30″.

    Anyone know why Philips left the partnership?

  • YangachiBastardo
  • cm

    #31.
    “And WK, blind defense of Korean corporate culture isn’t called for here. Yes Korean corporate culture isn’t all that bad, but still there’s more bad than good. Me thinks you should try to get to know more about Korea, before you engage in this type of blind defense. Specifically you shouldn’t depend on the Internet, books, and the media, as your only sources.”

    And can you put forth a debate without labeling and accusing people and having an arrogant attitude toward other posters? WK, keep posting away, I like your writings that keeps this site balanced.

  • seouldout

    @ YB,

    And in 3 – 6 months hopefully it will be – it’s already dropped $500 – 750 . Now, if I could find it in multi-system, that would be fantastic. Thanks.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Brendon,

    You have an iPhone and a Mac? I just wouldn’t take a die hard Republican lawyer type like you as a Apple fanboy… However, Apple does make some very appealing products.

    I would probably admit that I likely didn’t get all the facts down straight on the relationship between Philips and LG Display in my #27. I was a bit lazy in the fact checking there. Plus, the information is surprisingly difficult to find (at least for me last night). I do remember that the joint venture between Philips and LG was a chronically money losing entity. I have a feeling that it won’t be for much longer.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Too bad Sharp’s not allowed to sell in Korea.

    I believe it’s either impossible or very very difficult for Samsung and LG to sell TVs into Japan as well.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I disagree with your position.

    Fine by me. It’s your right to disagree.

    As for basing your argument on Mr. Koos turnaround of LG Display, well let’s put it to you this way. LCD and LED panels are commodity products. There’s little or no innovation required. It’s simply a matter of producing a large number of high quality displays, cheaply and quickly to meet the demands of a thirsty market. So here a whip cracker is someone you need.

    I disagree. Yes, the lower rung of the LCD and LED market is commodity, but there is an upper rung of the market that provides more capability and features than typical screens. For example, 3D displays, IPS LCD, Super AMOLED displays, S-LCD, etc. There is a certain amount of “systemic innovation” required for pushing and improving on known technologies and/or concepts.

    Simply put, a commodity type whip cracker style boss is the last thing LG needs if it’s looking for a foothold in the smartphone market.

    TOK, you appear to ignore that I mentioned that Lee Kun-hee is probably this type of executive and he has successfully made Samsung competitive with Apple, or at least not on the path of dodo bird extinction like Nokia.

    And WK, blind defense of Korean corporate culture isn’t called for here. Yes Korean corporate culture isn’t all that bad, but still there’s more bad than good. Me thinks you should try to get to know more about Korea, before you engage in this type of blind defense.

    I am not making a blanket defense of Korea’s corporate culture. In the very first line of my comment # 27 I implied that nepotism exists. In my last paragraph and concede that there is a lack of creativity in its corporate culture by admitting there are will likely never be a Korean Steve Jobs.

    I don’t think I have ever been a “blind” defender of Korean corporate culture. I have, on a number of occasions, been critical of it.

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/04/01/kleptocratic-conglomerates-and-paranoid-governments/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2009/10/13/management-consultant-gives-korea-inc-some-advice/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/03/05/samsung-and-environmental-issues/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2009/12/17/apple-envy-and-bada-what/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2009/10/24/another-ma-goose-egg/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2008/06/30/samsung-crimes-of-a-capitalistic-oligarchy/

  • YangachiBastardo

    he has successfully made Samsung competitive with Apple, or at least not on the path of dodo bird extinction like Nokia

    Mon Dieu this is such sweet melody to my Euro-bashing, Finland-hating ears

  • seouldout

    Sharp filed a IP lawsuit against Samsung, but that was settled in 2009. Could that the reason why it isn’t in the Japanese market?

    Samsung had 50 +1/50 – 1 JV with Sony to produce LCD monitors, named S-LCD. Could that be another reason?

    Then again, Samsung was selling flat panel monitors in Japan until late 2007.

    LG stopped selling flat panles in Japan in 2008, but plans to re-enter at the end of this year.

    Impossible, eh? Excellent research there, winky. Thus, the tit for tat gambit… utter fail.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    seouldout,

    Good research. Thanks. However, the Japanese consumer electronics industry does have a bit of a Galápagos Island syndrome and having more Korean electronics products there may help.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2009/07/20/technology/20cell.html

    http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/editorial_opinion/oped/articles/2010/05/25/an_explorers_venture_into_japans_electronic_exotica/

  • seouldout

    …3D displays, IPS LCD, Super AMOLED displays, S-LCD, etc.

    I’m curious to learn more about this “S-LCD” technology. Here I am thinking it’s the Samsung/Sony JV. You got the the inside scoop, eh? Tell me more.

    If you’re talking about SLCD, that’s a Sony technology.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    It doesn’t matter who owns the technology. My point is that there is still innovation involved in the upper rung of the LCD market.

  • seouldout

    There is no tech named S-LCD. And Samsung isn’t betting on SLCD; it’s going forward w/ the Super AMOLED.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    But it appears that HTC is going forward and buying something called “S-LCD” screens from Sony:

    http://www.phonenews.com/htc-droid-incredible-being-transitioned-to-slcd-late-this-month-12641/

  • seouldout

    I would probably admit that I likely didn’t get all the facts down straight on the relationship between Philips and LG Display in my #27. I was a bit lazy in the fact checking there. Plus, the information is surprisingly difficult to find (at least for me last night). I do remember that the joint venture between Philips and LG was a chronically money losing entity. I have a feeling that it won’t be for much longer.

    You teachin’ tap dancin’ too?

    Plus, the information is surprisingly difficult to find

    Nope, not really. Google LG Philips and you get to Wiki, which explains the cathode TV and the LCD JVs.

    I do remember that the joint venture between Philips and LG was a chronically money losing entity.

    Nope, a few quarters LG Philips LCD lost some money, but that’s not chronic. Unless you mean the chronic that happens once in a while.

    I have a feeling that it won’t be for much longer.

    A feeling, eh? You’re really going out on limb, dancing on the precipice. Of course it (LG Philips) no longer exists.

    You ought to ask Yuna for help.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936
  • seouldout

    In # 51 I already provided you a link to that HCT -Sony contract – you don’t read, do you? It’s called SLCD, Super LCD. S-LCD is the name of the Samsung – Sony JV.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    It’s called SLCD, Super LCD. S-LCD is the name of the Samsung – Sony JV.

    Thank you for the info and the correction.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    How about a little fun regarding the “Future of Apple”?

    http://pinoytutorial.com/techtorial/iboard-and-imat-future-of-apple-products/

  • theotherkorean

    TOK, you appear to ignore that I mentioned that Lee Kun-hee is probably this type of executive and he has successfully made Samsung competitive with Apple, or at least not on the path of dodo bird extinction like Nokia.

    I wouldn’t rule out Nokia, it’s still the no.1 mobile phone manufacturer.

    http://gorumors.com/crunchies/mobile-phone-manufacturers-market-share-and-ranking/

    Smartphone wise, yes Samsung’s Galaxy S is a competitor to the iPhone 4 and although it has racked up impressive sales figures, still I have to wonder does it have the cool factor that comes with owning an iPhone 4? Or is it just an commodity phone with impressive hardware specs? Heck look at the design, it can be mistaken for an iPhone 3. And I have to wonder how long will it be before Samsung decides that Galaxy S isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and decides to release the Universe?

  • theotherkorean

    WK,

    I won’t rule out Nokia just yet. It’s still the No.1 mobile phone maker.

    As for Samsung’s iPhone Killer, well yes it’s a credible competitor to the iPhone 4 and LKH probably provided a lot of input. But on the other hand, a couple of questions do pop up;

    Does it have the cool factor that comes with the iPhone4?
    Is it just an another commodity type phone with impressive hardware specs?

    Heck look at the design, from a distance it can be mistaken for an iPhone 3. I means of all the potential designs they could adopt, they adopted an iPhone 3 lookalike design.

    I also have to wonder, how long it will be before Samsung realizes that the Galaxy S isn’t what it’s cracked up to be and decides to release the Universe S?

  • theotherkorean

    He’s probably LG’s designated hard-ass turnaround guy. I don’t know if LG Electronics really needs a jeans wearing trendy/creative type right now to right the ship. It needs someone to crack the whip. You’ll never see Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee wear denim jeans, but he will bust heads and get shit done and come hell or high water, Samsung will come up with credible responses to iPhones and iPads.

    Well you implied that LG doesn’t need a Steve Jobs type of guy and that it needs a typical Korean boss who uses fear to mobilize the troops. So in a way you’re telling the non-Korean commentators, the current Korean management style works, please let’s leave it as it is. It ain’t blanket defense, but it’s blind defense nonetheless.

    And conceding that nepotism exists and that there are no creative types in Korean corporations, doesn’t exactly balance things out, since you’re simply stating common knowledge.

  • theotherkorean

    I like your writings that keeps this site balanced.

    Is the reason you like his writings because;

    a) he’s a Kyopo and
    b) his views are similar to yours?

    I wouldn’t exactly call that “balanced”.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    TOK,

    Discounting someone’s opinion simply because they have Korean ethnicity overseas is, as I’ve said before, an ad hominem fallacy. I would also say that people considering you a non-Korean because of your generally anti-Gyopo views and largely negative [declared] views on Korea would be an ad hominem type of thinking also.

    Regarding your other comments. I’ve said that Samsung needs more creativity in the long term many times:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/02/19/businessweek-says-korean-smartphones-suck/

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/01/29/financial-times-says-samsung-is-vulnerable/

    Saying that LG needs a Lee Kun-hee type is not a defense of the system. It is an observation of what may be needed to turn things around in the coming months or year or two. Longer term I think Korea needs to make significant changes to their corporate and management structure and culture for a variety of reasons. In a sense Korea, Inc. is kind of like Big Blue (IBM) in the 50′s and 60′s (i.e. conservative, hierarchical, technical and highly vertical business culture) and the CIA during the same time period (i.e. only people from certain provinces and alumni from certain schools, etc. can join the upper levels of the management team). Koreans are stuck with this for at least another decade or two. Whatever you and I say won’t change this basic fact. However, competing against the likes of Apple (and HTC and Motorola) is a problem that they need to take care of today (or yesterday in LG’s case). Thus, it is my belief that they have to take what they have today… this highly conservative, rigid, hierarchical, structured, etc. business culture… and use it to do the best of their abilities to meet today’s business challenges.

    You can change the system slowly while you are fighting in a life or death struggle against competitors, but you can’t completely change the system overnight. Besides, I don’t think the current generation of Korean management wouldn’t even know how any ways.

    Lastly, I think Nokia is Europe’s walking dead man of a corporation. Yes, they have the most cell phone sales, but a bulk of that are in obsolete sets sold in third world countries that give you pennies on the dollar in terms of profit. Smartphones, on the other hand, are the cash cows in comparison.

  • theotherkorean

    Discounting someone’s opinion simply because they have Korean ethnicity overseas is,

    If you’re referring to comment #62, I wasn’t discounting an opinion based on ethnicity. Instead, I was simply asking two simple questions.

    I believe it’s a difference in how comments are translated. From my viewpoint, it looks like your’re defending the Korean corporate way of doing things, which you state is not your intention. With my above comment, I was questioning the commentator in question, but you viewed it as an attempt at ad hominem.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    TOK,

    Furthermore, an apples-to-apples comparison to the iPhone for any other smartphone, let alone the Galaxy, is not accurate in determining if the phone is going to be a commercial success or failure. In the U.S. as well as Europe phones are tethered to different carriers. In the U.S. you can only get the iPhone on AT&T, one of the four or five major carriers in said country. For many people AT&T is not an option for a variety of reason. It could be that the reception in their general preferred spots are bad or that they like Verizon’s family plan better or they get a special corporate rate with Sprint or whatever. Thus, in order to keep people on their non-AT&T network an iPhone competitor such as an HTC, Droid or Galaxy only needs to be 80 to 90% as good as the iPhone. Given how the cell phone market works in much of the world, this will still ensure millions and millions of handsets are sold.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    From my viewpoint, it looks like your’re defending the Korean corporate way of doing things, which you state is not your intention.

    If you read my business and economics related postings in their entirety, I think you’ll see that I generally don’t do that. I think the Korean corporate way of doing things served its purpose, particularly when Korean companies were just cheap(er) producers of cheap products and just work houses for more established names in the industry. As Korea tries to move up in the product and service value chain, I believe that type of business culture and environment will be counter productive to its future growth prospects.

  • yuna

    Discounting someone’s opinion simply because they have Korean ethnicity overseas is, as I’ve said before, an ad hominem fallacy

    That’s a bit rich, coming from someone who has a fascination with my Korean passport, which I have, by the way. If that wasn’t an ad-hominem then I think it’s none of your business. I also find the segment of the readers who are fascinated by theotherkorean’s korean-ness funny. He’s consistently come up with the most mainstream Korean views I have seen on this site.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    coming from someone who has a fascination with my Korean passport

    I think you took that entirely the wrong way…

    If that wasn’t an ad-hominem then I think it’s none of your business.

    If TOK is going to make my ethnicity an issue (not saying he did or didn’t as it might have been a misunderstanding) regarding the value of my thoughts, then he makes it my business.

  • yuna

    By “that” I was referring to your own comment.

  • theotherkorean

    I think you took that entirely the wrong way…

    When you implied that yuna wasn’t a Korean citizen because of her fluent English you also in a way implied that Kyopos hold a monopoly in ethnic Koreans with fluent English skills. Simply put, it’s something along the lines of “We are the only ones who can speak and write fluent English. That Korean can speak and write fluent English, no way!”

    It ain’t something that a Korean will take lying down. Frankly I’m surprised that you were surprised as a result of yuna’s reaction.

  • theotherkorean

    That and I don’t think she’ll take lightly to your generalization of Korean girls as money burning, luxury good seeking types, in a different post.

  • cm

    ““We are the only ones who can speak and write fluent English. That Korean can speak and write fluent English, no way!””

    I’m a Gyopo but I still hold a Korean passport and I’m a citizen of South Korea. But I didn’t get that impression from WK at all.

  • cm

    #71,theotherkorean, you’re reading into things too much. It was partially a joke, and partially true, since the largest consumers of the designer bags are young women.

  • theotherkorean

    I’m a Gyopo but I still hold a Korean passport and I’m a citizen of South Korea. But I didn’t get that impression from WK at all.

    Out of three Korean passport holders, two got that impression, so you’re outnumbered.

    And let’s the terminology correct here. If you are a Korean citizen, then you’re not a Kyopo. You’re a Korean.

  • theotherkorean

    It was partially a joke, and partially true, since the largest consumers of the designer bags are young women.

    So if I make a comment about Kyopos having a big chip on their shoulder to the point of picking up a semiautomatic rifle, doing drugs, and wearing hip hop clothes, etc, I guess you’ll take it as a joke?

    Which means it is OK if I continue commenting like that, since it is only a harmless joke.

  • yuna

    I was referring to when I wrote “our beloved president” in my post and wangkon blockquoted that and asked “Do you still retain South Korean citizenship?”

    I found it could be one of the two :
    1.A failed attempt at an ad hominem (for whatever reason, maybe he doesn’t like my commas, who knows?) implying I cannot call him “our beloved president” if I don’t have a Korean passport
    if not that then,
    2. Being genuinely curious and asking a question which is none of his business, but still a strange context with the blockquote and all.

    Yeah, beware of our 뒷끝.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    When you implied that yuna wasn’t a Korean citizen because of her fluent English you also in a way implied that Kyopos hold a monopoly in ethnic Koreans with fluent English skills. Simply put, it’s something along the lines of “We are the only ones who can speak and write fluent English. That Korean can speak and write fluent English, no way!”

    If that’s what you and yuna think I’m implying then you’d both be wrong. I think it’s difficult for a Korean to speak English fluently with almost native proficiency if they were not immersed in the language from an early age. However, irrespective of a person’s level of English proficiency, I treat all serious and sincere viewpoints equally (as long as I can understand the viewpoint that’s being expressed and that’s most certainly tied to language proficiency).

    Here you’ll see my patience with a Korean commenter that had less than native language proficiency.

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/01/19/korean-cultural-assault-on-new-york-continues/#comment-359386

    You’ll see that I eventually gave up because I couldn’t understand what he wanted to debate. However, I would have been more than happy to converse with him if I could understand what he was taking issue with.

    If you look at my rebuke toward’s a gyopo (while defending an expat) on respecting a person’s opinion even if they don’t have Korean language proficiency, then you may see that I’m consistent on the other side as well:

    http://www.rjkoehler.com/2010/01/13/the-glass-and-steel-encased-burrito/#comment-358577

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    yuna,

    Ah, that’s what I thought you were referring to.

    1. It was not an attempt at an ad hominem. I seriously didn’t think you even thought this at all. If you still have your doubts, then answer me this. How often have you seen me use ad hominem reasoning in a serious situation (rather then a humorous or attempted humorous situation)?

    2. More closer to the truth. I was genuinely curious if you still retained your Korean citizenship considering how much time you had spent in the UK and abroad. People here discuss the nation of their citizenship all the time. Most people don’t seem to consider a question about it an intrusion or anything like that. Naturally, if you think LMB is your president, then you must be a Korean citizen, no? I just wanted to confirm it. I had no idea you took offense to the inquiry. Personally, I think that’s great. TMH should have a guest poster that has South Korean citizenship… it adds to the credibility of the blog.

  • theotherkorean

    TMH should have a guest poster that has South Korean citizenship.

    Me thinks the same. Hopefully, this time the Kyopos won’t drum her out if she presents a view of Korea that doesn’t match the one that’s inside their heads.

  • theotherkorean

    But WK, still your line of questioning at that time was a bit offending to say the least. Now that you’ve learned your lesson and tried damage control, hopefully, you’ll know better.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I didn’t have a line of questioning at that time. I only asked one question from yuna in that thread.

    What line of questioning are you referring to?

  • yuna

    #78 Weak, very weak. You know there was something brewing during the last few days in our otherwise blue sky plain sailing sea.

    Also as a fluent speaker, you must realize the expression “our beloved” may not mean not “our (yours and mine)” and definitely not “beloved”, in a device as rare as a a sighting of a blue bird called “sarcasm”.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    One misinterpreted sentence has got you all hot and bothered!?! Wow… these are arguments that married people tend to have and to the best of my recollection… I didn’t put a ring on your finger… ;)

  • yuna

    ! To the best of my recollection… I didn’t put a ring on your finger…

    Um, I prefer the ad hominem, I must say.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Then you would prefer something that’s not true.

  • cm

    “And let’s the terminology correct here. If you are a Korean citizen, then you’re not a Kyopo. You’re a Korean.”

    I’m a Korean national, but I’m also a Gyopo which is broadly defined as either ethnic Korean immigrants as well as recent Korean expatriots overseas. Look it up in the web dictionary. You do know how to google, right?

    “So if I make a comment about Kyopos having a big chip on their shoulder to the point of picking up a semiautomatic rifle, doing drugs, and wearing hip hop clothes, etc, I guess you’ll take it as a joke?”

    And that would be wrong and not really funny, simply because semiautomatic rifles and drugs are not the stereotypes of Gyopos. Hip hop pants yes, but not guns and drugs which is more attributed to American society in general.

    Plus you have more than once wrote that you hated the stupid know nothing Gyopos, we get that. But what’s annoying is that you have a bad habit of replying to certain posters by always concluding with attacks on their Gyopo backgrounds, without knowing anything about that person. It’s insulting and nobody wants to be dismissed like that. Your replies to me only proves what I’m saying is true.

  • tinyflowers

    And let’s the terminology correct here. If you are a Korean citizen, then you’re not a Kyopo. You’re a Korean

    Incorrect. You can be a Kyopo citizen. Get YOUR terminology straight.

  • yuna

    It’s usually tied to where your place of abode is, and how (semi) permanent that arrangement is. A Kyopo usually implies something more permanent than a couple of years sojourn in a country, which in my case, I just grew up like a nomad in various different places but returning to Korea, at various points in time, and my family and I have never “emigrated” anywhere, so I wouldn’t term myself as a kyopo in that conventional sense.

    Usually, it’s easy to form a critical view but take a defensive one when you are abroad, and easy to form a defensive view but take a critical one when you are within. I guess theotherkorean is just irked by the overwhelming manifestation of one over the other, which in its defence, was naturally forged to counter the alliance of the critical expats and ex-expats.

  • theotherkorean

    which is broadly defined as either ethnic Korean immigrants as well as recent Korean expatriots overseas.

    I believe the proper term is gyomin.

    And that would be wrong and not really funny

    concluding with attacks on their Gyopo backgrounds, without knowing anything about that person

    OK so let’s get this straight. It’s alright for Kyopos to generalize Koreans or whites for that matter, but it’s not alright for Koreans and whites to generalize Kyopos. And I think I know much about you thanks in no small part to your comments here. Thank you for proving what I have thought about you all along is true.

  • theotherkorean

    I guess theotherkorean is just irked by the overwhelming manifestation of one over the other,

    Actually, I have no problems with people being defensive about Korea, if they knew about what they are defending. Specifically the Kyopos here defend Korea based on materials that they glean from the Internet and the media. They however seem to be ignorant about mainstream Korean ideals and happenings. However if one attempts to say so to the Kyopos, they refuse to listen, because it conflicts with their 고정관념.

    Let’s take the example of a previous post about Korean cars. Yes the standing of Korean cars overseas have improved considerably. In Korea, however, Korean cars still have issues, because domestic versions are different than export versions. When told about this, the Kyopos, instead of listening and giving it some thought, reacted by stating, “where’s the proof?” or “a acclaimed car critic says Hyundais are good, what’s you problem?”.

    It’s this know it all, arrogant attitude that irks me.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    TOK,

    Regarding the car thread, I think people were confused if you meant domestically produced Korean cars or Korean cars generally worldwide.

    I would agree with you that there is a perception among even many Koreans themselves that the domestic market may get the short end of the stick in terms of domestically produced car quality and features.

    In the comment before the last I reference, you said many gyopos are generalize whites. Well, I don’t think this completely accurate in most cases (except when it comes to many relationship related threads). Some gyopos, if they are generalizing, are generalizing non-Korean expatriates from Western English speaking countries. That’s not the same as “white” people.

  • cm

    This is the same guy who claimed nobody in North America in his right mind would buy a Hyundai unless he is too poor to buy something decent other than a broken down cheap Hyundai. It’s the same guy who claimed you won’t find a Hyundai in a Korean supermarket, saying that even Gyopos won’t drive a Hyundai. He got royally upset when some Gyopos stood up and said they drive a Hyundai.

    Now he’s changing his tune totally.

    Going back to Hyundais in Korea. Yes, Korean consumers have a beef with Hyundai because they are pricier in Korea. Actually all cars, domestic and imports are pricier in Korea due to whatever reasons. Korean customers also complain that they don’t get the same customer service and the same amount of free options, as the customers overseas. There are accusations in Korea that the export models to North America are different from domestic models. The difference is the North American model is made in the USA, and the domestic model is made in Korea. Unless they’re using different steel and different parts from different parts makers – it’s not totally unreasonable that the same model cars are different for each market. Now does that mean the quality is different? I don’t know. I don’t know because I can’t tell if all the Korean complaints are due to perceptions that they’re being screwed by Hyundai, or there really is a quality difference.

    All I know is that there are lot of anti-Hyundai anti-Chaebol Koreans who are happy to see these guys go bankrupt so that small-medium companies can rise (as they say). But be careful what you wish for. Many of those small and medium companies rely on directly or indirectly supplying the big companies. If the big companies go bankrupt, so will the small and the medium companies too, along with the entire Korean economy which will end up asking for another bailout from the IMF.
    .

  • cm

    “They however seem to be ignorant about mainstream Korean ideals and happenings. ”

    OK Genius, then how do you expect Gyopos to learn about mainstream Korean ideals and happenings if they shouldn’t use the internet and the media? Then that just about excludes over 90% of expats in Korea also, since they can’t use the internet and they can’t use the media either to get this overall general mainstream Korean ideals which you speak of – because most of them can’t speak and understand Korean to know what general Korean population talks about daily. Then what’s left, other than general anicdotes and personal experiences of native Koreans? But is that such a good source for conclusions? And isn’t that the same as unless you’re Korean and live in Korea, you should shut the F* up?

    Then the question is, what’s the point of this site then?

  • theotherkorean

    @#93,94

    Jeez, I wonder who’s the one that’s “royally upset”?

  • yuna

    Both you’s have a point.

    First, it’s true. From what I have seen visiting my parents in Washington D.C. a while ago, I agree with theotherkorean that most cars in the Korean supermarket parking lot were Toyota’s and Hondas. It was like, if they could afford it, they would choose Japanese cars over Korean.

    But it’s also true that the trust in the Korean brands value has also gone up a little bit amongst the Koreans regardless of the protectionism. My sister in law who has grown up in Korea all her life, once told me the hierarchy of the cars (which I completely forgot because I am not interested in anything I am not going to buy) – but it was pretty much like German and Japanese, then Korean and then Italian and French… Or some other way, I wasn’t listening properly.

  • Arghaeri

    “Naturally, if you think LMB is your president, then you must be a Korean citizen, no?”

    No, as a permanent resident I consider LMB to be my president.

  • Arghaeri

    “Then you would prefer something that’s not true.”

    Perhaps, by that, she is indicating she prefers something not quite so patronising…

  • YangachiBastardo

    In the U.S. as well as Europe phones are tethered to different carriers

    Actually the EU prohibits cell phone manufacturers to offer exclusive deals to one carrier in any country, that means that often the the newest, fanciest models are offered initially by the incumbent and Vodafone, later (generally just a couple of months) they become available in the catalogue of smaller, scrappier players.

    HK-based operator 3 is a specialist in this game: they offer shitty service with all the nice phones and very convenient terms.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    I’ll put on update on the main post also, but THIS is interesting as it says foreign executives at LG may get canned also.

  • theotherkorean

    WK,

    Interesting? Nope, obvious. Now that Koo is the CEO, he wants people that are loyal to him, not holdovers from the previous CEO, occupying key positions. It’s what every Korean CEO does when he/she takes power.

    In fairness I believe it’s what non-Korean CEOs also do when they take the helm.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    What I thought was interesting is that some people are pointing to the foreign executives as a partial cause of LG’s difficulties. At that time I thought LG’s appointment of non-Korean managers was progressive. Well, when you lose $100M in profit in just one quarter, I guess there will be a lot of finger pointing.

  • theotherkorean

    WK,

    The 100 mil was the loss from the mobile phone division. And according to the article that you’ve linked the head of the mobile phone division will be canned as a result. The same for other money losing divisions.

    As for the foreigners;

    They were the chief marketing officer, chief procurement officer, chief supply chain officer, chief human resources officer and chief strategy officer.

    But LG faced internal criticism about appointing foreigners from another company at the top posts, and some members even criticized that chief officers failed to adjust to the Korean company’s culture, according to analysts.

    The above is from your article, and there doesn’t seem to be anything that suggest finger pointing. Say what you want to say, but the above positions in question aren’t exactly line positions, which means they won’t be blamed for losses unless of course the CPO bought screws that cost a nickle for US$100.

    However they do hold somewhat key positions, and Koo probably won’t be comfortable with them, since they were appointed by Nam. So me thinks he’ll ask them to leave but probably not do it abruptly instead waiting until their contracts expire. After that he’ll install his lackeys into those positions.

    On the other hand, if he’s progressive minded, he’ll ask them over dinner to bear with him and help him make LG a better company, in return for whatever perks that weren’t in the original contract.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    Businessweek says LG has pretty good supply chain management so perhaps the foreigner who handles that will be asked to stay.

  • R. Elgin

    Per the Korean Government’s failure to promote content development and what LG’s problems are:

    . . . our industrial mind-set – which is grounded in the success of hardware and heavy industries like semiconductors, automobiles, LCDs, and ships – fails to understand the new era of an intelligent media industry. We still believe broadband networks and hardware platforms like TV and handsets are enough to give traction to our economy. For instance, when Apple’s iPhone upset the mobile device market at home, local players hurriedly rolled out similar copies and exposed their weaknesses in the digital world. If we do not shake off our old habits and obsessions with hardware, we may one day find ourselves in Japan’s shoes and become dinosaurs in the digital milieu.

    . . . from a KAIST professor

    http://www.joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2926314

  • R. Elgin

    Oddly enough, this article just came out today about Nokia and their problem with management and bureaucracy.

  • cmm

    and some members even criticized that chief officers failed to adjust to the Korean company’s culture

    I can understand this. I got into the office this morning after a week away, and one of the first things that the boss told me was that the VP wants to have a meeting with our team. At 9:30PM. The last Friday I prior to my vacation we had one at 8PM. Why would any foreigner want to adjust to this?

    Cue the fat lady and get ready for my swan song.

  • http://www.xanga.com/wangkon936 WangKon936

    cmm,

    Is working for a big Korean company something like this?

    http://www.mergersandinquisitions.com/investment-banking-lingo/

    This one is interesting too:

    http://www.face-time.com/sleep-intelligent/

    The extreme kind of face time pervasive in bigger Korean companies is bad and some Koreans agree with this.

    http://joongangdaily.joins.com/article/view.asp?aid=2926109

  • http://www.sperwerslog.com Sperwer

    No wonder my wife’s staff lover her and people clamor to work there; she generally leaves @ 6-6:30 and, even if she has to work late, it’s always out of the office, so no face-time pressures apply. It probably also helps that the other two of the other three top execs who report to her also are women with similar time management habits.

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