Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, Samsung had to reconsider some of its policies and events. The Global Strategy Meeting of the organization has been rescheduled to take place once a year, as opposed to being a bi-yearly event, and the next Unpacked is planned to be held exclusively online. And now that coronavirus continues to reshape the corporate environment, Samsung has also agreed to suspend its Local Expert system temporarily.
Local Expert is a training program in which employees of Samsung are sent abroad for training as local experts. The exchange program has played an important role in Samsung becoming a global company; only once in 1998, it was suspended. Industry watchers fear the long-term effects of canceling the program if COVID-19 continues to cause problems during the rest of the year.
A number of local experts / Samsung exchange staff who were scheduled to return from overseas have had their stays extended, Business Korea said. The workers who used to replace them had trouble traveling, and in some cases, the Local Expert system is effectively frozen due to COVID-19, with some workers now finding it difficult to return home.
In addition to the exchange program, Samsung Electronics has also delayed the ability competition this year. Once a year, engineers from major divisions of the organization, including Consumer Electronics, Display, SDI, and Electro-Mechanics, come together to showcase their skills and compete with their peers in South Korea. The annual event has been going on since 2008, but Samsung decided to cancel it for 2020 as COVID-19 has made air travel very difficult.