LG Electronics building a global brand, says Time magazine feature
Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2004 -- LG Electronics (LGE) and CEO S.S. Kim have been prominently profiled in the June 21 issue of Time magazine, in a "Global Business" supplement called "The Next Big Player?" The article highlights LGE's worldwide business operations, global brand-building activities, and U.S. marketing thrust in digital displays, appliances and mobile phones.Seoul, Korea, June 16, 2004 -- LG Electronics (LGE) and CEO S.S. Kim have been prominently profiled in the June 21 issue of Time magazine, in a "Global Business" supplement called "The Next Big Player?" The article highlights LGE's worldwide business operations, global brand-building activities, and U.S. marketing thrust in digital displays, appliances and mobile phones.
At the outset, Time dubs S. S. Kim "a Man of the People," highlighting his management philosophy and leadership abilities. The magazine also explains some of the reasons for LGE's remarkable growth over the past three years -- strong field management, state-of-the-art technology and design that "capitalize on the digital home," and the company's global marketing reach.
Time says that in the U.S. market, LGE has changed its focus from marketing low-end products under the Goldstar and Zenith brands, now setting its sights on positioning LG as a premium brand. With "emerging gadgetry like flat screens, DVD players and, eventually, computer-like systems with digitized video and music recorders and Internet services," Time says LGE is "surprisingly well positioned" to capitalize on the "monumental transition taking place in U.S. living rooms."
Also mentioned is LGE's 70 percent share of the U.S. set-top box market (for receiving digital satellite TV), and its sophisticated mobile handsets equipped with MP3, digital camera and camcorder features that rival those produced by Nokia and Motorola, with LGE becoming the largest supplier of mobile handsets to Verizon Communications in 2003. LGE also commands 43 percent of the room air conditioner market in the U.S., the article notes, saying that in recent years, while Sony and other global electronics makers "suffered sagging growth and profits, LGE's market presence surged," posting an impressive 18 percent growth in revenue (to $17 billion), and a 33 percent increase in net profits (to $556 million).
Lisa Smith, general appliance manager for U.S. retailer Best Buy, is quoted in the article as saying, "We began carrying LG refrigerators, washers and dryers last July, and their jazzy designs, such as yellow and blue lights on dryer control panels that look like dashboards, have made them a hit with younger shoppers. LG has done a fantastic job of raising the bar in the U.S. market. The products are popular and continue to gain momentum."
The magazine cites LGE's projected North American sales growth as $7 billion in 2004 -- from $5.7 billion in 2003, $4.5 billion in 2003 and $3.9 billion in 2001.
Time has a circulation of 5.4 million copies in 180 nations around the world, and a readership of 30 million people. It is noteworthy that S.S. Kim is featured in the publication only nine months after being named CEO of LG Electronics. Much of this success can be attributed to his previous role as president of LGE's Digital Appliance Company, which achieved the world's leading position through innovative management and a successful North American brand launch, thus boosting the overall position of the LG brand. While president of the Digital Appliance Company, S.S. Kim was featured in Business Week as one of "Asia's 25 Stars," a result of heightened awareness of the LG brand in the global appliance market.
The Six Sigma and TDR (Tear-Down and Redesign) campaigns led by S.S. Kim are the secret weapons for LGE to grow more than 20% annually. Plans to "augment the company's design and technology prowess," Time says, include increasing R&D teams to 60 percent of LG's total payroll by 2005, from 40 percent today, with an ultimate goal of ranking among the "Global Top 3" in electronics and telecommunications by 2010.
About LG Electronics Inc.
LG Electronics, Inc. (CEO: S.S. Kim, 06657.KS) was established in'58 as the pioneer in the Korean consumer electronics market. The company is a major global force in electronics and information and communications products with more than 64,000 employees working in 76 subsidiaries and marketing units around the world. With annual total revenues of more than US $16.9 billion (non-consolidated), LG Electronics comprises three main business companies: Digital Display & Media, Digital Appliance, and Telecommunication Equipment & Handset. LG Electronics' goal is to enable the intelligent networking of digital products that will make consumers' lives better than ever. For more information, please visit http://www.lg.com