News NCR reports that the corporate culture of South Korean electronics giant Samsung has raised concerns among hedge funds Petra Capital Management, Dalton Investments and investors. It is clear that under Vice Chairman and de facto controller Lee Jae-yong, senior management has failed to “get to the heart of the matter,” resulting in a lack of innovation, prioritization of faster growth and financial returns, and internal conflict in a number of departments, including Exynos.
We’ve previously heard that next year’s Galaxy S23 series of smartphones will all feature Qualcomm Snapdragon flagship SoCs, while Samsung’s own Exynos chipset is unfortunately on the chopping block.
As the story progresses, more details are finally being revealed behind the scenes. Chan Lee, managing partner of Seoul-based Petra Capital Management, said.
"Samsung is supposed to focus on innovation, especially its Exynos chip design division. Yet the reality was the opposite, as the company prioritized faster growth and financial returns. Designing its own chips requires creativity and engineering skills, but Samsung's risk-averse culture has been enhanced under Lee Jae-yong's leadership, causing engineers to retreat from attempts at innovation."
In April, a junior engineer sent a letter to Samsung’s management team explaining that the company had given researchers tasks that were “impossible to accomplish” and that everyone was tired of dealing with a “toxic work culture.
In addition, the employee, who asked not to be named, added, that Samsung executives simply do not realize the seriousness of the matter.
"The top policy makers seem to have failed to get to the heart of the matter, and I have heard many stories related to the 'crisis', but still think this is a more dangerous time than ever before."
Earlier, Samsung reiterated that its Exynos line of chipsets is not being cut. On one hand, it was reported that Samsung’s mobile chief talked about “developing a unique Exynos chipset”.
On the other hand, sources say the company will set up a “joint working group” to ensure Samsung launches a better Exynos SoC in the “near future.
"Samsung may still be 12 months behind Qualcomm and MediaTek's flagship smartphone SoCs. But for a tech giant of this size to develop a competitive Exynos chipset, it shouldn't have faced this much resistance."
The only obvious problem at the moment is the internal conflict of interest. If all executives and employees can “work together”, there is no reason for Samsung’s self-developed chip division to lag so far behind its competitors.