Samsung holds luxurious banquet for new executives

Samsung holds luxurious banquet for new executives

Samsung Group held a luxurious banquet to celebrate some 400 newly minted executives and their spouses at the Samsung-affiliated Hotel Shilla in Seoul on Monday.

The event is part of a five-day training program for the year’s new executives. Samsung promoted 197 executives in a December reshuffle, the lowest figure from 167 in 2009.

Samsung Electronics vice chairman Lee Jae-yong has presided the annual banquet since his father, chairman Lee Kun-hee was hospitalized in May 2014 after suffering a severe heart attack.

“You are the future of Samsung. You were promoted even in tough times. That proves your capability,” he was quoted as saying during the event. He especially encouraged female executives and others who have been working in underdeveloped countries.

Lee suggested a toast, “For family and health.”

The senior Lee held the event to celebrate his birthday together with top executives and the year’s Samsung Award of Honor winners. Since his hospitalization, the son has held the event to invite all executives.

While his father preferred French wines for a toast, the son has chosen Korean liquors like bokbunja ju, or traditional blackberry wine.

The new executives and their spouses were given a pair of Longines watches and a framed photo taken at the entrance — a ritual at the annual event.

Last year, the chairman’s three children appeared at the entrance together. But this year, the eldest son used a different entrance possibly to shun reporters, while the youngest Lee Seo-hyun, fashion business president of Samsung C&T, appeared alone. Lee Boo-jin, Hotel Shilla president, didn’t attend the meeting due to a scheduling conflict.

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