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Top 2 Conglomerates Deny Considering Layoffs

Posted December. 11, 2008 03:05,   


Korea’s two largest conglomerates, the Samsung and Hyundai-Kia Automotive groups, denied yesterday that they will pursue artificial restructuring because of the economic slowdown.

In a meeting with journalists at Samsung’s new building in southern Seoul, a Samsung executive said, “The global economy is slowing, but we can still find opportunities everywhere. It’s not the right time for restructuring.”

“That means the Samsung Group will pursue no artificial restructuring. We’ll manage our personnel as we have. Opportunity always comes after crisis.”

He also mentioned a personnel reshuffle of senior executives to come early next year. “The scale of promotions for senior executives to be announced early next year will be no different from the announcement we made in May. The number of senior executives will not change significantly.”

Hyundai-Kia also officially denied reports saying the group will conduct layoffs due to the economic slowdown.

A group source said, “We’ll cut staff that have shown weak performance or received the lowest performance ratings, as we’ve done in the past. But we have no plan to lay off well-performing employees.”

LG Group Chairman Koo Bon-moo earlier said, “Companies should not lay off employees due to economic difficulty.” After his announcement, The Dong-A Ilbo surveyed the nation’s top 10 conglomerates Nov. 28, and all said they had no artificial restructuring plan.

jinhup@donga.com jmpark@donga.com