You can bet your last airtime or data that the majority of Samsung customers in South Africa are black and yet there are only two blacks employed as top executives in the country by the South Korean electronics manufacturer.
Elsewhere in the world, the iPhone may be king, but in South Africa, there is no doubt that Samsung is top gun, according to the country’s popular IT news website MyBroadband.
Samsung is like a staple food among black South Africans. It’s affordable while providing quality smartphone experience.
The Samsung Group is one of the largest electronics companies in the world.
Despite the huge vote of confidence from the majority of black South Africans, many of them poor, Samsung has for a long time been dragging its feet in embracing transformation.
Since its arrival in the country, Samsung has been led either by a South Korean or an Afrikaner executive. It has shied away from appointing black executives to steer the company, which is making millions from black South Africans.
Is it true that South Africa doesn’t have enough qualified blacks to be executives at Samsung? Or is it more sinister as in Samsung’s South Korean owners simply have no faith in blacks?
Commenting on the matter Samsung South Africa this week declared that in fact the company is committed to the transformation of its senior leadership team.
The company said transformation is a process.
“We make certain that we recruit fit for purpose candidates that have the competence and skills to drive the business forward, in a highly competitive industry. We are deliberate in our approach and believe that we are on the right track with regards to having a transformed senior leadership team.”
At present, Samsung South Africa revealed in an emailed response that its senior leadership team consists of CEO & President: Sung Yoon – Korean, CFO & Management Support: DaeJu Kim – Korean, Finance: Yogeshni Kuppusamy – Indian, Integrated Mobility: Craige Fleischer – White, Marketing: Justin Hume – White, Consumer Electronics: Vacant, Human Resources: Bess Skosana – Black, Finance: Ricardo Botas – White, Business Innovation: Hlubi Shivanda – Black, Legal: Mark Grobler – White, and Customer Service: Richard Chetty – Indian.
Samsung added that it is committed to transformation and in a “global first” this year, a local subsidiary board of directors was established.
The company disclosed that the executive board of Samsung South Africa includes Yoon, Kim, and H. Shivanda, director of Business Innovation & Corporate Affairs, and Ms. Y. Kuppusamy, head of Finance.
Time will tell on whether the South Korean electronics giant is serious about transforming its senior leadership team.