November 19, 2007 – Samsung Electronics has laid off more than 1600 workers in its first large-scale restructuring since 2002, following disappointing results this year in both its semiconductors and flat-panel businesses, according to media reports.
The Korea Times and Chosun Ilbo cited data filed with government financial entities that the company’s workforce declined by 1630 from March of this year. A spokesperson told the Times that the moves reflect efforts to “find next drivers for the company in the future.”
Earlier this summer Samsung noted some restructuring moves including voluntary retirement and unit mergers, following slumping profits in 1Q and 2Q. Margins are still well below last year’s levels, now at less than 1T won ($1.1B) for the first time in five years, the Times noted, and the company’s stock price has slipped 20% in recent months.
The Times suggested more jobs could be on the cutting block as industry growth slows and the company actively seeks new growth engines outside semiconductors.