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While a person’s salary isn’t necessarily the best indicator of one’s latent abilities or worth, a sharp decrease might offer a window into a more serious situation. This is especially true when it comes to corporate executives, the likes of which have, in the internet era, become celebrities in their own rights. One need only think of Apple, T-Mobile, or Tesla and consider how difficult it is to separate the top tiered executives from their company’s public image. When it comes to Samsung however, the western world isn’t often able to partake in PR from the big-wigs, J.K. Shin included.

The head of Samsung Mobile, Mr.Shin runs a considerable company. With products ranging from the mainstream flagship Galaxy S line, to the portable powerhouse phablet series, the Galaxy Note, to an endless array of tablets, smartwatches, and other devices, it’s safe to say he is at the apex of Korea’s tech triumph. Unfortunately, due to a tumultuous 3rd quarter earnings report, it seems his salary has been severely cut. As reported by the WSJ, regulatory filing indicates he received 689 million Korean won for Q3 2014, which was calculated to be roughly $630,000. Shin’s Q2 salary was 1.7 billion won ($1.5M).

Samsung Q3 2014 Profit

This is, obviously, a very visible representation of the company’s performance and, perhaps, an indication of severe disappointment with Shin’s performance. It’s not currently known whether the mobile boss voluntarily offered to receive a pay cut, as Nintendo’s Iwata did some months ago, or if the missing money was a “punishment.” Still, we’re talking about a decrease of over 50%, which ironically is about how much Samsung’s profits dropped in Q3.

Until more information is known about the nature of this pay cut (if it will come to light at all), we can only guess as to its true nature. Still, with 2014 coming to a close, J.K. Shin might have to worry about his Q4 remuneration, provided this quarter doesn’t see some major improvements with the release of the Galaxy Note 4 and Note Edge, in addition to the Gear S smartwatch and Galaxy Tab Active.

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