Inside Samsung’s office: Staff tense, nerves jangle over Note 7 crisis

AP10_11_2016_000025A

The next few weeks are traditionally a tense time at Samsung Electronics Co as executives wait to see if their work over the year is rewarded with promotion at the South Korean firm’s annual performance review.

This year, that tension has been ramped up several notches as the year-end ritual comes on the heels of the debacle over Samsung’s flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

The world’s top smartphone maker this month pulled the plug on the near-$900 device after phones overheated and caught fire. With some replacement phones suffering the same problem, Samsung has forecast a $5.4 billion hit to its operating profits. Some analysts predict the smartphone business may post a first quarterly loss for July-September.

“Everyone’s afraid to be heard even breathing,” said one Samsung employee. “There will be punitive measures; someone will have to take responsibility for this.”

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