Chairman of Samsung
Nationality: South Korean
For decades, Samsung has existed in the fringe of consumer electronics, largely guided by the success of its television franchise. But more recently , its mobile division has taken center stage. In 2011, Samsung snatched the title of the world’s top-ranked smartphone producer in terms of volume, surging ahead of the competition partly courtesy of the wildly popular Android operating system. Additionally fueled by the popularity of the Galaxy line – possibly the only neck-and-neck rival to Apple’s iPhone – Samsung has utilized an effective marketing philosophy by pushing well-known spokespeople to the forefront of each campaign. The South Korean company headed by Chairman Lee Kun-hee partnered with Jay Z in a clever move to bring the rap magnate’s 12th album to one million Samsung users before any other listeners. Moreover, in an attempt to stay on the pulse of contemporary fashion, Samsung collaborated with the likes of fashion designer Alexander Wang to further attract a trendsetting crowd. Samsung also rounded out the year by announcing the merging of their mobile and smartphone divisions in hopes of providing shared resources and a sense of further product differentiation.