For the first time in eight years, almost the entire top management team at Samsung Electronics will present themselves on Wednesday before an audience of about 350 analysts and investors at Seoul’s Shilla Hotel.
The full-day event will feature addresses from eight executives, who will also take questions. Chairman Lee Kun-hee and his son, vice-chairman Jae-yong, will not be on stage – but this represents a rare opportunity for the audience to press senior figures about Samsung’s long-term strategy, writes Simon Mundy.
So what are the key questions surrounding the future of the world’s biggest technology company by sales?
Rihanna gives away a personalised HTC phone on stage
How badly is smartphone maker HTC doing?
By many measures, very badly. October sales are down 13 per cent year on year. Revenue next quarter could be as low as NT$40bn, a third less than the same quarter last year and lower than analysts’ expectations. And after reporting its first ever quarterly operating loss as a company in the third quarter, it shows no sign of returning to profit in the fourth.
But one measure in particular, released today with its full third quarter results, shows the Taiwanese company’s travails — its accounts payable. That measures how long it is taking the company to pay its bills to its suppliers, who make the parts of its phones.
Helpouts is just the kind of big, ambitious project Google should be working on. A marketplace for people to sell – or just donate – their knowledge and expertise through live video sessions, it’s an all-embracing platform covering everything from the simplest how-to advice to full, personalised masterclasses.
So why does it feel like a re-run of Knol, the crowd-sourced Google knowledge base that was closed in 2012 after a four-year run?