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2004 World Technology Awards Winners & Finalists

Jong-Yong Yun

Please describe the work that you are doing that you consider to be the most innovative and of the greatest likely long-term significance.

Jong Yong Yun Samsung

At first glance, Yun Jong Yong might not look like much of an innovator. He has been with Samsung Electronics Co., one of the most conservative of South Korea's chaebol , for 37 years. He was made chief executive in 1997 not because of any great vision but because he had the skills to get Samsung out of a bad mess: As prices of computer chips tumbled, the company was barely avoiding losses.

However, Yun, 59, has made Samsung one of the world's fastest-growing brands, selling feature-packed digital gadgets and state-of-the-art chips. The company has a market capitalization of $57.7 billion. Sales in 2003 are expected to reach $36 billion. Profits are expected to be just over $5 billion, a 15% decline from 2002 because of a sharp drop in chip prices, but analysts predict that profits could top $7.5 billion in 2004.

Yun went on an efficiency campaign, shutting factories for weeks to cut inventories, slashing the workforce by one-third, and selling off dozens of noncore divisions. In a radical move, he pulled Samsung appliances off the shelves of discounters Wal-Mart Stores and Target in favor of electronics chains such as Best Buy and Circuit City Stores. "Our future will depend on our brand equity," says Yun. "If we keep selling low-end products, it damages our corporate image."

Yun's goal now is to make Samsung the leader in the age of digital convergence by offering networked home-electronics gadgets. "You must constantly change and adapt to a new environment," Yun says. Spoken like a true innovator.

Key Accomplishments

-- Cemented Samsung's global leadership in the memory-chip business by grabbing nearly two-thirds of the market for NAND flash memory, a technology mainly used in removable cards that store large music and image files.

-- Samsung displaced Motorola as the second-largest maker of cell phones in terms of value, but it remains No. 3 in volume.


Brief Biography


1988     Graduated from MIT Sloan School Senior Executive Course 1966     Graduated from Seoul National Univ., B.A.in Electronics


1999     Vice Chairman & CEO,SAMSUNG Electronics Co.,Ltd. 1996     President & CEO,SAMSUNG Electronics Co.,Ltd. 1995     President & CEO,SAMSUNG Japan Headquarters 1993     President & CEO,SAMSUNG Display Devices Co.,Ltd. 1992     President & CEO,SAMSUNG Electro-Mechanics Co.,Ltd. 1991     President & Representative Director,Consumer Electronics Business Group 1990     Vice President & Representative Director,Consumer Electronics Business Group 1988     Vice President, Electronics Group 1966     Entered The SAMSUNG Group


2000     Asia's Businessman of the Year (Fortune) 2000     The Top 25 Managers of the Year (Business Week) 1999     The Prize for The Most Successful CEO in Korea (Korea Management Association) 1998     Outstanding Achievement in Management (IIE) 1995     The Prize for The Honorable Engineering Alumnus Graduated from Seoul National University. 1992     Gold Medal for Contribution to Industry by the Government 1990     Bronze Medal for Contribution to Industry by the Government


Chairman of The National Academy of Engineers