Samsung’s employee exchange program is on hold due to COVID-19

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Samsung had to rethink some of its strategies and events amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The company’s Global Strategy Meeting was rescheduled to take place once every year as opposed to being a biyearly event, and the next Unpacked is expected to take place exclusively online. And now as the coronavirus continues to reshape the corporate landscape, Samsung decided to temporarily suspended its Local Expert program as well.Local Expert is a training program wherein Samsung employees are sent overseas to be trained as local experts. The exchange program has played an important role in Samsung becoming a global company, and it’s only been suspended once before in 1998. Industry watchers fear the long-term effects of the program’s cancelation should COVID-19 continue to cause problems throughout the remainder of the year.Exchange employees forced to extend their staysAccording to Business Korea, a number of local experts/Samsung exchange employees who were scheduled to return from overseas have had their stays extended. The employees that had to replace them are having trouble flying, and so the Local Expert program is essentially frozen in some situations because of COVID-19, with some employees now finding it impossible to return home.Aside from the exchange program, Samsung Electronics also postponed this year’s skill competition. Once a year, engineers from the company’s main divisions including Consumer Electronics, Display, SDI, and Electro-Mechanics come together to South Korea to showcase their skills and compete with their peers. 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.

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