The rest of the 100 (in alphabetical order): Sungjong Lee, Samsung Venture Investment
Sungjong Lee has been in charge of Samsung Venture Investment Corporation (SVIC), the corporate venturing unit of the South Korea-based conglomerate, as president since 2013, although there has been a distribution in investment oversight of the regions.
Formerly SVIC’s vice-president, Lee succeeded Woi Hong Choi, who was president from 2009 until late 2013. Lee was promoted to president at the same time as seven other new presidents were appointed within the South Korean conglomerate.
In the latest shift, people close to the firm said Samsung had put Young Sohn, US-based president and chief strategy officer for Samsung Electronics, in charge of its US and European corporate venturing deals.
However, as one insider said: “While president Young Sohn is involved in many investments, Sungjong Lee is still head of SVIC and has final approval of a larger number of official investments.”
Founded in 1999, SVIC bases most of its team in Korea, including its investment committee, but it is understood about 80% of its deals by value came from the US. Its most recent deals include Bonsai, a US-based platform that helps businesses build their own artificial intelligence models, which raised $7.6m from a multi-corporate consortium involving Microsoft Ventures, Siemens and ABB Technology Ventures as well as Samsung.
Lee has a bachelor’s degree from Kyungpook National University, while Sohn was a former CEO at Inphi, Agilent Semi and Oak Technologies, having originally run chip maker Intel Korea’s operation, including the Samsung-Intel partnership in the 1980s and early 1990s.
Sohn, who is the first non-South Korea-based top executive at conglomerate Samsung, said in 2013 that his role at the group was to change its “decision-making process”.
This decentralisation has already begun but power ultimately remains rooted in South Korea.
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