Angry Shareholders at Samsung's Annual Meeting Demanded Top Heads Roll as the Good Old Days are Over
In 2014 we posted a report regarding Samsung's Galaxy S5 sales plummeting 50% in China and that heads were beginning to roll for their poor performance and yet J.K. Shin was able to stave off dismissal. A year later Samsung's continued stagnating smartphone sales lead to a more sweeping management shake-up and still J.K. Shin, "Mr. Galaxy" was able to hang in one more time. Today we're hearing about Samsung's annual general meeting held on Friday and it was a very unhappy event indeed, especially for J.K. Shin.
The Financial Times is reporting that "Samsung Electronics faced shareholders disgruntled over the company's deteriorating performance and governance problems. The meeting, packed with 400 individual and institutional investors, lasted for more than three hours and featured an unusual vote on the appointment of board members.
Proceedings were frequently interrupted by vocal shareholders raising concerns about issues including the company's slowing growth, lack of new growth drivers, and poor oversight by outside directors. It marked a change from the annual meetings commonly full of praise for the South Korean company's performance that typically concluded within an hour.
A shareholder at the meeting noted that "Most of us are gloomy these days, no longer so proud of owning Samsung shares. How long will Samsung just rely on smartphones?" Another shareholder expressed his anger by stating "How far can you go with just hardware manufacturing? You should come up with stronger platforms and software to cope with the rapidly changing IT environment."
And finally, shareholders were fed up with 'Mr. Galaxy' J.K. Shin's excuses for poor sales and the restless investors made their presence felt by opposing his reappointment to the board and demanded measures to revitalise the slowing smartphone business and boost low margins for home appliances.
Kim Sang-jo, economics professor at Hansung University captured the mood of the meeting best when he said that "The good old days are over."