Samsung Electronics Co.'s Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said Friday that a move to restructure the tech giant into a holding-company structure is "not easy" at the moment, suggesting the process may be delayed for the time being.
The world's largest leading maker of smartphones and memory chips said in November that it will seek a change in the management structure, which includes splitting itself into a holding company and an operating company to boost shareholder returns.
During the shareholders' meeting held Friday, Kwon said the company has been reviewing various aspects, including rules and taxations linked to the transition.
The company said it will share the result with shareholders once it completes the review. Samsung said last year that the study should be concluded in about six months.
Kwon added the company is taking steps to open a special committee to improve its management structure by end-April, which will focus on expanding communications with shareholders.
Industry watchers, meanwhile, said Samsung's latest announcement was also attributable to the arrest of its head, Lee Jae-yong.
Lee, the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics and the de facto heir of Samsung Group, has been detained since last month over his alleged role in a corruption scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.
Industry watchers said it will not be easy for the company to make such a major decision when its head is currently behind bars.
The group is also facing challenges in seeking major changes to its governance structure, as it is currently suspected of having received support from the nation's largest institutional investor for the merger between Samsung C&T and Cheil Industries in 2015, in exchange for giving favors to Park's longtime friend Choi Soon-sil and her daughter. (Yonhap)