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The highest-paid Samsung exec in 2021 isn’t who you’d think it is

Business
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Last updated: March 10th, 2022 at 17:09 UTC+02:00

DJ Koh was the highest-paid Samsung executive last year, at least, on the face of it. The former chief of Samsung’s mobile business took home 11.8 billion won ($9.63 million) in 2021, including 4.04 billion won ($3.3 million) worth of bonuses and a retirement pay of 6.43 billion won ($5.2 million) as he stepped down from his position in December.

Kim Hyuk-seok, who used to oversee Samsung’s home appliance businesses, also stepped down last year. He was the second-highest-paid Samsung exec after DJ Koh, taking home 10.3 billion won ($8.4 million).

The third-highest-paid Samsung executive last year was Kim Ki-nam. He stepped down from overseeing the semiconductor business last year and now leads R&D for futuristic technologies. He was awarded 8.64 billion won ($7 million).

As for the de facto leader of Samsung Group, Lee Jae-yong, he hasn’t taken a salary since 2017 due to lawsuits and restrictions. However, in 2021, he did receive a combined 343.4 billion won ($280 million) as dividends from five Samsung affiliates. So, in a way, through dividends, Lee Jae-yong was the highest-paid exec by far.

Infrastructure spendings were up 25%

Regulatory filings cited by The Investor reveal that Samsung took 3,995 additional employees on board last year, all the while the company increased the average pay by roughly 13.4% on-year.

As for Samsung’s business, the company has also increased its spending on infrastructure and research & development.

Compared to 2020, last year, Samsung invested 25% more in its infrastructure, or 48 trillion won ($39 billion).

At the same time, Samsung spent 6.5% more on research and development in 2021 for a total of 21.2 trillion won ($17.2 billion).

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BusinessGeneral DJ KohLee Jae-yongSamsung Electronics
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