Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of South Korea's top conglomerate Samsung Group, said Friday that creativity and shared growth could further cement Samsung's status as one of the world's top companies, urging his employees to make strenuous exertions to prepare for another leap forward.
His comments came as Friday marks the 20th anniversary of the so-called New Management Initiative driven by the chairman to spur the group into a world-class business entity.
Chairman Lee gave a three-day speech to executives in Germany in June 1993, laying out his vision for Samsung, which is now one of the top-tier global firms. One of the most famous lines that came from the speech was "Change everything but your wife and children."
In a statement emailed to the group's some 380,000 employees, Lee thanked them for their efforts and sacrifices that have helped Samsung become the biggest consumer electronics company in the world.
But he stressed that the group is faced with what he describes as self-complacency, which can be overcome by being more resolute in making a new start to remain one of the top companies in the world.
"We have to fight the crisis of conceit and have to get off to a new start toward a higher target and lofty ideal," he said.
Lee said creativity and shared growth should be pursued for the group's further development.
On Wednesday, Samsung Electronics Co., the group's flagship unit, announced that it would spend 1.2 trillion won (US$1.08 billion) over the next five years to help its business partners and subcontractors.
This year alone, Samsung, which has Samsung Electronics and Samsung Display Co. under its wing, will spend 327 billion won for the co-prosperity scheme, it said.
Backed by the management initiative, Samsung saw its sales surge to 380 trillion won last year from 29 trillion won in 1993, with its exports jumping to $157.2 billion from $10.7 billion over the cited period.
The group's key affiliates include Samsung Electronics, the world's largest smartphone and memory chipmaker; Samsung Heavy Industries Co.; and Samsung Life Insurance Co.