Samsung is not only the largest company in South Korea, it is also a vast conglomerate with businesses well beyond its consumer electronics division. As heir to Samsung’s family owners, Jay Y. Lee will be indicted for bribery, and the leadership of an operation that encompasses financial services, shipbuilding, appliances and housing is up in the air.
Ironically, the ethics statement for the entire conglomerate is:
Operating in an ethical way is the foundation of our business. Everything we do is guided by a moral compass that ensures fairness, respect for all stakeholders and complete transparency.
That appears to have been lost on Lee.
Samsung’s global revenue is just over $300 billion, which is more than 15% of South Korea’s gross domestic product. Samsung operates under three major divisions: Electronics, Heavy Industries and Financial Services.
Samsung’s most well-known operation is Samsung Electronics. It builds smartphones and televisions. It also builds household appliances such as washers and dryers. Another of Samsung’s electronics businesses is a major maker of household batteries and car batteries. Some of the car batteries are lithium-ion, which are used in electric cars. Samsung also had a fiber optic business, which Corning recently bought. The Electronics division is also one of the world’s largest manufacturers of high-definition displays.
The Heavy Industries businesses include one of the world’s largest shipbuilding operations. It also builds offshore drilling platforms. Another division handles large government infrastructure projects, home construction and large plants. Among the largest projects is a steam-generation facility for oil giant Saudi Aramco.
The Financial Services division of Samsung has a life insurance business, fire and marine insurance, venture capital, asset management and securities management. These businesses serve South Korean residents, almost exclusively.
Samsung has another group of businesses that it puts into an “other” category. These include hotel, medical center and fashion businesses.
The organization chart of Samsung businesses:
Our electronics companies make the small gadgets that run much more powerful gadgets—including everything from components in our PCs and mobile phones to green batteries and behind the scenes IT solutions.
Samsung Corning Advanced Glass
Heavy Industries handles diverse projects that include shipbuilding, engineering and construction.
Samsung C&T Engineering & Construction Group
Samsung Heavy Industries
Samsung’s financial services companies, serving customers in Korea, include insurance, investments and credit card businesses.
Samsung Life Insurance
Samsung Fire & Marine Insurance
Samsung Asset Management
Samsung Venture Investment
Other Affiliated Companies
Among Samsung’s other affiliates are companies that offer professional services, develop textiles and serve industries such as hospitality and tourism.
Samsung C&T Trading & Investment Group
Samsung C&T Fashion Group
Samsung C&T Resort & Construction Group
Samsung Medical Center
Samsung Economic Research Institute