LEE KUN-HEE is a man of few words. So when the 68-year-old decided to come out of court-induced purgatory this month to retake the helm of Samsung Electronics, now the world’s biggest technology company, it was appropriate that he chose Twitter, a keep-it-brief social-networking site, to spread the news.
李健熙是个寡言的人。所以,当68岁的他在本月决定从炼狱出来并重新掌管世界上最大的科技公司——三星电子时,选择使用推客(Twitter)——一家简洁的社会网站来发布新闻,是合适的。

Mr Lee’s message was not just for employees of Samsung Electronics, by far the biggest part of his empire, but also those of the other 64 firms within the conglomerate that he controls. It was delivered with the sort of attention-grabbing hyperbole that any tweeter would be proud of: “It’s a real crisis now. First-class global companies are collapsing. No one knows what will become of Samsung. Most of Samsung’s flagship businesses and products will become obsolete within ten years. We must begin anew. We must only look forward.”
李健熙的消息不光是为到目前为止其帝国最大的群体——三星电子的员工准备的,也向他所控制的集团旗下的另外64家公司发布。这个消息是通过引人注目的夸张的方式来进行传播的,让任何推客人都引以为豪:“现在是真正的危机了!全球一流的公司正在倒闭!没人知道三星将会发生什么!三星的绝大多数旗舰店和产品将在十年内弃用!我们必须得重新开始!我们必须得向前看!”

It did not quite have the pithiness of Mr Lee’s rhetoric in 1993 when he said Samsung was a second-rate company and that its employees should “change everything except your wife and children.” But his words had the same urgent ring of truth about them.
这可不像李健熙在1993年谈到三星是个二流的公司、而且其员工应该“除了老婆孩子之外,改变一切”时,措辞那么简洁扼要。但是他的话对员工们来说,有着同样的紧迫感。更多信息请访问:http://www.24en.com/

How can that be? It is a question that could be asked by anyone who has recently turned on a flat-screen television, bought a mobile phone, stored masses of data on a flash memory or watched Chelsea’s footballers in shirts sporting Samsung’s name. Far from being a disaster in the making, Samsung Electronics has become one of the world’s strongest brands, known for sleek design, razor-sharp technology and good value.
怎么会是这样呢?任何最近看过纯平电视机、买过手机、用闪存存储过大量信息或者观看过切尔西的职业足球赛——运动衫上印着三星的名字的人,都会问及这个问题。三星电子以其时尚的设计、尖端的科技和高的价值,成为了世界上最强有力的品牌之一,这可不是在制造什么灾难。

Think of anything with a screen, from a few centimetres square on a mobile phone, to a laptop, a wide liquid-crystal display or a giant 3D television, and Samsung Electronics will be one of the top two firms in the world making it—or at least the memory chips inside it (see chart). The company’s global market shares are staggering: more than 40% of the flash memory used in sophisticated electronics like the Apple iPhone, almost one in five of the world’s mobile phones and one in six of its television sets. It even makes screens for Sony’s TVs.
想想看任何带显示屏的东西,从几厘米大的显示屏的手机、到笔记本电脑、宽屏显示器或者大型3D电视机,三星电子将是全世界两个最大的制造商之一——或者至少在生产显示屏的内置存储芯片方面是的(见表格)。三星公司有着惊人的全球市场份额:在像苹果iPhone手机这样的精密电子产品中40%以上的闪存,几乎占全球数量1/5的手机、1/4的电视机。它甚至还为索尼电视机生产屏幕。

Having invested aggressively in new products in 2008, Samsung Electronics sailed through the global financial crisis, almost doubling its operating profit in 2009. This year analysts expect it to generate record profits of over $10 billion. Sales are forecast to be about $130 billion, which is likely to confirm its lead over America’s Hewlett-Packard as the world’s biggest technology company by revenue. Not to be outdone, other parts of the Samsung group have notched up successes. The construction division recently completed the tallest building in the world in Dubai and Samsung Heavy Industries is flush with shipbuilding orders.
由于在2008年积极地投资于新产品,三星电子挺过了全球金融危机,并且2009年的营业额几乎翻了一翻。今年,分析人士预计它将创造出100亿美元的营业额,突破历史纪录。预计销售额将达到约1300亿美元,看来财政收入超过美国惠普、成为世界上最大的科技公司是毫无疑问了。三星集团的其他部分也不甘示弱、创造了很多成功。三星的建设公司最近在迪拜建成了世界上最高的建筑,三星重工也随着大量的造船订单变得红红火火。

In a way that General Motors can only have dreamed of, what has been good for Samsung has been good for South Korea. The group’s products account for about 20% of the country’s GDP, making it huge even by the standards of an economy top-heavy with big firms. When the won tumbled in 2008, raising fleeting fears of a currency crisis, exporting champions like Samsung, Hyundai and LG quickly took advantage, betting that their customers would be willing to buy newer, better models if the price was right.
有利于三星,就是有利于韩国,在某种程度上,这对于通用汽车来说只能是做梦了。三星集团创造了韩国GDP的20%,即使衡量大企业的标准主要是看经济,三星也是个巨头。2008年韩元下跌,引起了人们担心流通危机的短暂恐慌,像三星、现代和LG这样的出口大户,很快就想到假如价格定得合理,其客户就会愿意购买新的、更好的机型,并利用这个下了赌注。

South Korea’s conglomerates were also well diversified globally—only one-tenth of the country’s exports go to America. That meant sales lost in America were partly made up for by those gained in fast-growing emerging markets like China. Thanks to generous promises of government stimulus, South Korea, one of the rich world’s most export-dependent countries, pulled off the surprising feat of surviving the worst slump in global trade since the second world war with only a fleeting dip into recession.
韩国的大企业集团也进行着多样化的全球经营——其出口美国的份额只占到1/10。这意味着在美国的销量少了,能由像中国这样快速成长的新兴市场弥补回来一部分。由于政府刺激政策的慷慨承诺,韩国,世界发达国家中最依赖出口的国家,自从第二次世界大战之后,只出现了一次短暂的下滑和萧条,在全球贸易最严重的衰退期间,挺了过来,完成了令人惊讶的壮举。

For that, South Koreans give much of the credit to their industrial conglomerates, or chaebol as they are known, and the rich, inscrutable families who control them and live like royalty in South Korea. Yet Mr Lee’s comeback causes nervous speculation. If Samsung really does face a crisis, what does that mean for South Korea? If Mr Lee believes he is the only person who can avert disaster, what does that say about the business acumen of his potential successors? And if he can walk back into the corner office without even having board approval, can it really be argued that the country is progressing to Western-style standards of corporate governance? Business people have watched, with a mixture of suppressed glee and dread, former role-models such as Toyota and General Motors struggle with huge financial and technical problems. Could this be the fate that Mr Lee fears for his firm?
为此,韩国将成功走出经济危机的大部分功劳都归于这些大企业,或人们所知的“财阀(chaebol)”,而那些有钱的、让人捉摸不透的家庭控制着这些财阀,在韩国过着像皇帝一样的生活。然而,李健熙的回来,引发了紧张的推测。假如三星真的得应对一场危机,那对韩国来讲意味着什么?假如李健熙相信他是唯一可以避免灾难的人,这对他的潜在的接班人的商业智慧来说,又意味着什么?假如他能在甚至未经董事会批准的情况下返回精英办公室,难道还可以说韩国正在向西方式的企业管治迈进吗?商界人士业已看到,像丰田和通用汽车这些之前的典范,带着混杂压抑的喜忧参半的心情,在财政和技术问题上苦苦挣扎。这会是李健熙所担心的其公司的未来吗?

Get out of jail free
出狱获释

These are pertinent questions for Korea Inc, the business model that has so recently undergone a remarkable rehabilitation. Just over a decade ago, when the South Korean economy was reeling from its near collapse in the Asian financial crisis of 1997-98, it was the chaebol that were widely blamed by the public, the centre-left government of the time and the IMF.
最近,商业典范式的韩国公司,经历了一场引人注目的复兴,这是对此次复兴中肯的质疑。仅仅是在十多年前的1997年至1998年间,亚洲爆发了金融危机,韩国经济濒临崩溃,当它从中抽身出来的时候,正是财阀受到了公众、当时的中间偏左的政府以及国际货币基金组织的广泛指责。

The extent of the mismanagement was shocking. In the 1960s and 1970s, under the dictatorial regime of Park Chung-hee, the chaebol soaked up cheap government financing and relied on official protection from foreign competition. Loosely, the models were the zaibatsu conglomerates that had helped turned Japan into an imperial—and militaristic—power before the second world war.
财阀的管理之不善,范围骇人听闻。1960到1970年间,在朴正熙的独裁统治下,财阀吸收了廉价的政府融资并依靠官方保护、避开与外国的竞争。这种模式也就是在二战以前,帮助日本转变为一个帝国主义的——而且是军国主义的——列强的财团(zaibatsu conglomerates)模式。

The chaebol, some of which were started by war racketeers, had the same vast ambitions, albeit for industrial conquest—and they had public money to back them. Samsung expanded from sugar and wool into electrical goods, chemicals and engineering. Hyundai’s founder, Chung Ju-yung, started building roads and then decided to build the cars to drive on them. But many chaebol overburdened themselves with debt as they tried to move up the technological ladder in the 1980s. As they borrowed lavishly to buy capital equipment, South Korea’s current-account deficit soared. Some thought the chaebol had become so big the government could not let them fail. They were spectacularly wrong.
有些财阀就是依靠战争中的敲诈勒索起家的,有着同样的巨大野心,尽管是为了工业竞争——他们有公众的钱作为后盾。三星从制造糖和羊毛延伸到电子产品、化工品和工程方面。现代的创始人郑周永,一开始是修路的,随后决定造车在路上开。但是,上世纪80年代,很多财阀打算试着依靠科技来进行自身的发展,却导致负债累累。为了购买资本设备,他们借了过多的资金,致使韩国的经常账户斥字猛增。有些人认为,财阀已变得太过巨大了,政府不能让它们失败。这些人可是大错特错了。

The wheels of industry
工业的车轮

The conglomerates failed in droves. The collapse of Daewoo in 1999 was followed by the bankruptcy of more than half of the then top 30 conglomerates. Four of the country’s five carmakers (even Samsung had ventured into the market) went bust. South Koreans, many of whom had flocked to hand over their gold jewellery in a patriotic gesture to help pay off the foreign debt, were appalled at the level of government and business collusion that came to light.
大企业集团接二连三地倒闭了。1999年,大宇倒闭,当时的前30名企业集团中有一半紧接着破产。该国的汽车生产企业(甚至三星也冒险进入了汽车市场),也倒掉了4/5。很多韩国人曾经蜂拥而来,以爱国者的姿态交出了他们的黄金首饰,用来还国家的外债,但政府和商界勾结的曝光,令他们感到震惊。

Under two consecutive left-of-centre governments, many of the chaebol bosses—some now being run by the children of their founders—were prosecuted. Suspended sentences were handed out to the boss of SK in 2003, the former chairman of Doosan group in 2006, and the owner of Hanwa group in 2007. But this was justice for the rich—quite different from justice for the rest. Chung Mong-koo, chairman of Hyundai Motor (which also owns Kia, the country’s second-biggest carmaker) was convicted of embezzlement in 2006. But his prison term was reduced to community service and a $1 billion donation to charity because of his economic importance to the republic. Then in 2008 Mr Lee was convicted on tax-evasion charges, but also spared prison after paying a fine.
在连续两届的中间偏左的政府的统治下,很多财阀的老板——有些现在是由创始人的后代接管的——被起诉了。2003年,SK的老板被判处缓刑,2006年轮到了斗山集团的前会长,接着韩瓦(Hanwa)集团的拥有者也在2007年受到了同样的判决。但是这是对富人而言的公正——和对其余的人的公正来说是不一样的。现代汽车(同时还拥有该国第二大汽车制造商起亚)的总裁郑梦九,在2006年被判犯有挪用公款罪。但是,因为他对共和国的经济非常重要,他的刑期减轻成社区服务和捐赠10亿美元给慈善机构。然后,2008年,李健熙被判定为逃税,但也是交了罚金就免去牢狱之灾了。

Partly chastened, both business and government have embarked on reform. Balance-sheets have improved, as has corporate governance, increasing the rights of minority shareholders and the responsibilities of company directors. Since then, some—though by no means all—of the cross-shareholdings used to disguise the weakness of subsidiaries and protect them from hostile takeovers have been rooted out and replaced with more transparent holding-company structures.
经受了一定的磨练后,商界和政府都走上了改革之路。因为有了企业管治,增加了少数股票持有者的权利和公司董事们的责任,国际收支表有所改善。此后,很多——尽管不是全部——交叉持股者曾经扮演成弱势的附属公司,以保护自己免遭敌意的收购,不过这种收购已经被铲除,取而代之的是更加透明的控股公司的结构。

A friend in the Blue House
蓝房子里的一位朋友

The reputations of the chaebol—especially in the eyes of South Koreans—recovered further during the 2008-09 global slump. So much so that when you ask experts in Seoul how their conglomerates fared during the crisis, some ask: what crisis? It was not just Samsung Electronics that sparkled. Hyundai increased market share in America every month last year, as its small, well-equipped cars with long warranties benefited disproportionately from the cash-for-clunkers programme.
财阀的名誉——特别是在韩国人眼中——在2008年到2009年间的全球经济不景气中大大地恢复了。所以,当你问及首尔的专家,他们的企业集团如何从危机中过来的,有些人便会反问道:什么危机啊?不光是三星电子在蓬勃发展。去年,现代公司凭借小型的、设备先进的汽车及“旧车换新节能补贴计划”,使得消费者的利益得到了很大的保证,在美洲市场的份额每个月都在涨。

For the first time in many years the chaebol have a political wind behind them. Lee Myung-bak, who became president in 2008, is a former chief executive from within the Hyundai extended family of firms. In December he pardoned Mr Lee, freeing the way for his return to Samsung. The same month he championed a successful bid by a chaebol-heavy consortium under the aegis of the Korean Electric Power Company to provide nuclear power to Abu Dhabi, pulling the rug from under industry leaders in France and Japan. This year, his government is pushing to relax holding-company laws that would make it easier for the chaebol to own financial firms. “The business community has not seen a political environment this accommodative in the past decade,” CLSA, a broker, said in a recent report.
很多年来,财阀第一次刮起了其背后的政治风。李明博,2008年成为韩国总统,是现代大家族的公司中的一位前总裁。12月,他便赦免了李健熙,为其重返三星铺平了道路。同一个月,在由韩国电力公司所维护下的财阀——大财团发起的向阿布扎比提供核能量的招标中,他成功中标,拆了法国和日本的工业领袖的台。今年,他的政府正在推动控股公司法的放松,将使得财阀更容易地拥有金融公司。“在过去的十年中,商界都未曾看到政治环境像现在这么宽松。”法国里昂证券,一家证券经纪公司,在最近一次报道中说道。

Japan looks on aghast as the chaebol catch up with more of its large firms. “Of all their competitors on the global stage, the Japanese fear the South Koreans most,” writes Mark Anderson, author of Strategic News Service, a technology newsletter. Some Japanese industrialists acknowledge this publicly. “Korea is much more full of vitality than Japan,” Osama Suzuki, head of Suzuki Motor, lamented in a recent talk to foreign journalists in Tokyo. “Japan is coasting.”
韩国财阀赶上了日本的大多数大公司,日本吓坏了。“在全球市场上的所有竞争者中,日本最害怕的就是韩国。”科技时事通讯《战略新闻服务》的作家马克•安德森写道。一些日本厂商公开承认这一点:“韩国远比日本更具活力。”铃木汽车的掌门人乌萨马铃木,最近在东京与外国记者谈话时遗憾地说道:“日本正在走下坡路。”

All of which makes Mr Lee’s strident warning, as the head of South Korea’s most successful company, more puzzling. The charitable view is that it may have been just a rhetorical device to soften up opponents to his rehabilitation—and to the eventual transfer of power to his son, Lee Jae-yong, Samsung Electronics’ chief operating officer. But it may also reflect deeper fears that the days of relying on manufacturing as a growth strategy, for all its technical sophistication, are numbered. The most obvious cause for concern is China. The acquisition on March 28th of Volvo by Geely, a Chinese carmaker, is the latest example of low-cost Chinese producers’ determination to build global brands.
所有这些都在为李健熙拉响刺耳的警报,作为韩国最成功的公司的领袖,更加困惑了。宽容一些的看法是,李健熙复任了——还有最终会将权力移交给其子,三星电子的首席运营官李在镕,也许那些话只是用来缓和对李健熙的这些做法的反对意见的一种修辞而已。但这也反映了对依赖制造业作为增长战略的日子的深深的害怕,因为所有复杂的技术屈指可数。引起注意的最明显的原因就是中国。3月28日,中国的汽车制造商吉利,收购了沃尔沃,廉价的中国产品决心要打造世界级品牌,这便是最近的例子。

In computer chips, Samsung Electronics is comfortably ahead of China for now. But the skills needed in that business are described by one Samsung expert as like running a “digital sashimi shop”—the trick is to get products so swiftly to market that they do not lose their freshness. There is no inherent reason why Chinese firms cannot eventually catch up. What is more, as Mr Anderson points out, China is more open to imports and foreign direct investment than South Korea, which helps China’s quest for intellectual property.
在计算机芯片方面,三星电子现在是舒舒服服地排在中国前面。但是,一位三星专家形容道,这一行业需要的技术,就像是运营一家“数码生鱼片商店”——把戏就是产品要趁着新鲜迅速地进入市场。中国的公司完全有可能最终迎头赶上。更多的是,正如安德森指出的,中国的进口和外商直接投资比韩国更加开放了,这帮助中国追求到了知识产权。

An even bigger threat comes from America. Late last year Apple finally got permission from South Korea’s telecoms authorities to waive a rule prohibiting the domestic sale of iPhones. Demand for the iPhone has since exploded, leaving Samsung and its domestic rival LG (which together have sold seven out of ten phones in South Korea), looking uncharacteristically leaden. Smart-phones accounted for just 1% of the market, but Apple has been selling some 4,000 iPhones a day, making South Korea one of the gadget’s hottest markets. Even the finance ministry has launched an iPhone application—the Glossary of Current Affairs in the Economy—to unexpected popular appeal.
更大的威胁来自美洲。去年晚些时候,苹果公司最终得到韩国电信权威部门的允许,从而废除了禁止iPhone在韩国本土销售的规定。自从对iPhone的需求引爆之后,三星和其本土的对手LG(这两者合起来出售了韩国市场上7/10的手机),看起来不同寻常的阴霾。智能手机只占市场的1%,但是,苹果一天却卖掉了大约4000部iPhone手机,使得韩国成为了最热门的小型产品市场之一。甚至财政部也已推出了关于iPhone的申请——经济时事术语——用来针对意外的公共上诉。

For Samsung and LG this problem is magnified at the global level, and not just against Apple but also against firms like Google and Research in Motion, maker of the BlackBerry. For all its success in mobile phones, Samsung is an also-ran in the global smart-phone market. The South Korean company has rushed to remedy that with its own smart-phone platform, Bada, and by producing mobile phones that use Google’s low-cost Android operating system. As a result, Samsung hopes to sell more smart-phones in America than any other firm this year.
对三星和LG来说,这个问题在全球范围内被放大了,不光是针对苹果公司,也是针对像谷歌、还有黑梅公司的制造者RIM公司。尽管在手机方面取得了成功,三星在全球智能手机市场上却是一个失败者。韩国公司已经迫不及待地利用自己的智能手机平台巴达、并通过利用制造装有谷歌的低价产品机器人(Android)操作系统的手机,来补救这些。结果,比起其他公司来,三星更希望今年能在美洲卖出更多的智能手机。

To win, however, Samsung needs more than sleek hardware. It is also outgunned by the iPhone’s 140,000 applications, which means it needs more creative input into its products. That will mean encouraging a less hierarchical, more inventive, corporate culture. The fluid ecosystem surrounding mobile technology may mean Samsung will need to engage more openly in partnerships with other firms, as it already has with DreamWorks Animation, creator of films such as “Shrek”, to help in the launch of 3D television. But such team efforts are not naturally in the DNA of a company that likes to keep its suppliers in the corporate family.
然而,三星要想成功,需要的不只是时尚的硬件。而即便是这些硬件,跟iPhone的14万种应用软件来比,也是处于下风的,这意味着三星需要对其硬件进行更多的创新投入。这也将意味着,鼓励一种合作的文化,少一些层次、多一些发明。围绕手机科技的流动的不断变化的生态系统也许意味着,三星将需要鼓励更加开放与其他公司的合作,正如同它和制造出《史瑞克》等电影的梦工厂动画间已经建立的关系,并以此来帮助推动3D电视产业的发展。但是,这样的团队努力并不是自然而然地存在于一个公司的DNA中、能在企业家族中一直保持供应。

To their credit, Samsung executives did not appear to be complacent, even before Mr Lee’s call to action. They do not want to abandon what Samsung does best—making cutting-edge hardware—just because China is on the warpath or to chase Apple. They greatly value the Samsung brand, which has been painstakingly built through good design over many years.
为了他们的信用,甚至在李健熙呼吁采取行动之前,三星的高管们并未自满。他们不想仅仅是因为中国正在征途之上或将赶上苹果,就放弃三星做得最好的——尖端制造的硬件。三星的品牌,是经由多年来的优良设计才精心构建起来的,他们对此格外珍视。

But they do speak of change, albeit in an evolutionary way. They intend to offer affordable smart-phones to the masses, not just to the top of the market. To improve content, they are concentrating on hiring software engineers rather than hardware experts. And to help stimulate ideas they have offered flexible hours to their notoriously hard-working employees, as well as hiring more young people and women. Nor have they stopped benchmarking against their competitors.
但是他们确乎提到了改变,尽管是以一种渐进的方式。他们打算为大多数人提供能负担得起的智能手机,而不只是占领尖端的市场。为了提高产品的容量,他们集中招聘了软件工程师而非硬件专家。为帮助刺激这项构想,他们为其出了名的辛勤工作的员工提供灵活的时间,以及雇佣更多的年轻人和女员工。他们也没有停止对竞争对手的水平的考量。

But there is still the bottom line to worry about. “Samsung Electronics may be the largest technology company in the world by sales, but it’s far from global number one by profit,” Lee Keon-hyok of the Samsung Economic Research Institute acknowledges. Profit margins leave something to be desired. In the quarter ending on December 31st, Samsung Electronics reported operating-profit margins of 9%. Apple’s were 36%. Moreover, the South Korean firm can hardly dispute that its market-share gains—especially against Japanese rivals such as Sony—were helped by a cheap won. But in a country where being number one is almost an obsession, these are elements that are likely to make Samsung strive harder.
但是仍有要担心的底线。“三星电子也许是世界上销售额最大的科技公司,但是其利润远未达到全球第一,”三星经济研究所的李基赫承认道。利润率尚不令人满意。在12月31日季度终了的时候,据报道,三星电子的营业利率尚有9%的差额。而苹果的是36%。此外,韩国公司几乎不能辩解其市场份额的获得——特别是对比像日本的索尼公司这样的竞争对手——得益于廉价的韩元。但是,在一个几乎是要固执地追求第一的国家,这些可能是导致三星更加努力奋斗的因素。

No leeway
没有退路

Arguably the most difficult challenge Samsung Electronics faces is internal, and as in most things at the company that ultimately comes back to the patriarch. As Steve Jobs has proved at Apple, nothing beats having a visionary leader—and Mr Lee is one of those. It was his decision, back in 1993, to concentrate the sprawling empire on certain world-class technologies, like chips, mobile phones and display screens. He is credited with instilling the mantra of first-class product design among his staff.
正如可提出论据加以证明的那样,三星电子所面临的最困难的挑战来自国内,这就如同在该公司的绝大多数事情中,最终都会回到阅历上来。就像史蒂夫•乔布斯已经在苹果证明了的那样,没有什么比拥有一位有远见卓识的领导更至关重要的了——而李健熙就是一位这样的领导。回到1993年的时候,正是他的决定,把蔓延开来的商业帝国集中到某些世界级的科技之上,比如芯片、手机和显示屏。公司逐渐获得了一流产品设计的美誉,员工们将这些归功于他。

But the manner of Mr Lee’s return may raise as many problems as it solves. When he stepped down in 1998, the hope was it would usher in a reform in Samsung Electronics’ corporate governance so that investors outside his sphere of influence—about half are foreigners—would have a clearer view of the way the company was run. His son was given different managerial posts, which groomed him for the top job better than many other “chaebol princes”. A murky Strategic Planning Office that sat atop the Samsung family of companies and allocated resources was disbanded. No one doubted that Mr Lee continued to pull strings from behind the scenes. But the first traces of Western-style corporate governance were apparent.
但是,就像这能解决掉一些问题一样,李健熙的重返也可能会引起不少问题。当他在1998年辞职的时候,希望就落在了三星电子将会进行一场管理方面的改革上,以便其影响范围以外的投资者们——大约一半是外国人——对公司的运作方式更加明了。他的儿子被给予不同的管理职位,为训练其走上顶尖的岗位做好了准备,这比很多的其他 “财阀王子”的情况要好得多。三星企业家族之上,有个可疑的战略计划办公室,对分散的资源进行分配。没有人怀疑李健熙继续在幕后暗中操纵。但是显然,西方式的企业管治由此可见一斑。

Worth trading in a clunker for
价值交易难有起色

His return, without a board meeting to approve it, appears to have put that process into reverse. Already there is speculation that he will revive the “control tower” system of group-wide oversight. His comeback may make it even less likely that Samsung will embrace a more transparent holding-company structure as, say, LG has.
他的未通过董事会议批准的重返,看来已把进程推向相反方向。人们已推测到,他将重新起用 “指挥塔台”体系来进行集团的内部监督。他的重返,使得三星将更加不可能有一个透明的控股公司的结构,而据说LG已经具有这样的结构了。

Most troubling, argues Jang Hasung, dean of the University of Seoul’s Business School, is that the “emperor-management” approach suggests Mr Lee is not confident enough in the company’s numerous other executives around the world—including his son—to lead the company into the future. This problem is true of the chaebol in general; succession issues loom everywhere. What’s more, it appears to ignore the lesson so recently exposed by Toyota that family ownership can be a huge weakness as well as a strength.
首尔大学商学院的院长张夏成辩论道,最令人不安的,是“君主式的管理”,这近乎暗示李健熙在该公司遍布全球的众多其他执行官中,没有足够的信心——包括他的儿子——来带领公司走向未来。一般来讲,对财阀们而言这个问题是真的;到处都是继承权问题。而更多的是,这似乎忽略了最近丰田暴露出来的问题所受到的教训,那就是家族所有制在拥有强大的力量的同时,也有着很多的弱点。

“His decision to come back gives the impression that he’s the only one who can fix whatever crisis it is he’s talking about,” Mr Jang says. With so much of South Korea’s future at stake, maybe it is the next generation of leadership that Mr Lee should be tweeting about.
“他要回来的决定,给了别人一种印象,即不管遇到了什么危机,他都是唯一的一个能玩转的人,他在谈论的正是这些,”张夏成说道。韩国的未来有如此多的风险,也许,李健熙应该多谈一谈下一代领导人,而不是自己。