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Samsung executives compensated generously despite earnings slump

The news came as a surprise to some, since falling profits in the company's mobile division was followed by the departure of 15 percent of its upper management.

By
Elizabeth Shim
Samsung's new SUHD TVs are displayed at the 2015 International CES, a trade show of consumer electronics, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Samsung's top executive took home $13.2 million in pay even as his division's profits fell by 74 percent. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI
Samsung's new SUHD TVs are displayed at the 2015 International CES, a trade show of consumer electronics, in Las Vegas, Nevada. Samsung's top executive took home $13.2 million in pay even as his division's profits fell by 74 percent. Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

SEOUL, April 1 (UPI) -- Consumer electronics giant Samsung doubled the salary of a top executive while profits in his division fell by 74 percent from the previous year.

J.K. Shin, a co-CEO of Samsung's mobile division earned nearly three times the amount paid to one co-CEO, and 50 percent more than a second co-CEO, reported The Wall Street Journal.

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Samsung Electronics disclosed the generous salaries paid to Shin and other executives on Tuesday.

The news came as a surprise to some. Samsung's smartphone sales in the fourth quarter of 2014 had declined significantly as Apple Inc. collected more than 90 percent of the smartphone industry's profits during the holiday season, according to The New York Times.

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In sum, Shin took home $13.2 million in pay, more than twice what he received in 2013. A special bonus for the executive explained the difference.

Meanwhile, Kwon Oh-hyun, a co-CEO of Samsung's unsung electronics components business, received $8.6 million, up 39 percent from his pay in 2013, but still significantly less than Shin, the chief ultimately responsible for Samsung's flagging mobile division.

B.K. Yoon, who oversees Samsung's consumer electronics division, earned around $5 million.

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The Wall Street Journal reported Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee was exempt from the company's disclosure, as was his son, the third-generation heir Jay Y. Lee.

Yonhap reported falling profits in the third quarter was followed by the departure of 15 percent of Samsung employees in upper management. Most have been laid off for Samsung's less-than-stellar performance in its wireless business, but some may have transferred to another division within the company.

The slowing sales of Samsung's Galaxy S5 were cited as a cause for the downsizing within Samsung.

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Samsung is hoping to turn around its business with the introduction of the Galaxy S6, which went on sale in the United States in March.

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