Here we go again, another negative post about Samsung. Hopefully I don’t get sued for it. Once again, this comes from court documents detailing an exchange within Samsung via email. In it, Samsung’s then vice president of sales, Michael Pennington, sent out an email lamenting the death of Steve Jobs. Not because the death of a person is a sad affair, but because his death would give Apple positive press coverage. If that wasn’t bad enough, Pennington went on to say that it could also be the opportunity Samsung was waiting for, one that would help them to attack Apple. He wasn’t alone in those feelings either, other executives shared his appalling views. At Samsung, they thought first of the marketing opportunities when discussing the death of a man. A man who started the company that created the very industry they were trying to compete in. The full email exchange is below, direct from the court documents.
Pointing out that the only negative from a man’s death was the good press the company he founded years ago with his friend in a garage isn’t bad enough for this group of Samsung executives. They go on to say that they can use the supposed weakness of Apple at the time of his death to their advantage. When one man’s friends, family, employees, and fans worldwide were in mourning, Samsung was rejoicing at the chance to lash out at Apple and their fans. These executives spoke with disgust about the praise this “passionate, tireless perfectionist” was receiving in death, and with a hungry eagerness at the idea of striking during Apple’s dark hour. Men have shown their enemies in war more compassion than that.
I’ve pointed out morally questionable tactics of Samsung plenty of times in the past, but this is among the worst. Discussing the death of a man who was a visionary, pioneer, and a husband and father like it’s an opportunity to attack his company is disgusting and shameful. Pointing out the positive press Apple was getting for the media coverage of Steve Jobs’s life is equally horrid. Not once in the email exchange did someone say “Hey, guys, perhaps we should be discussing this more tactfully?” or “Why don’t we instead pay tribute to the man or honor his memory by not dancing on his grave?”.
Samsung shouldn’t dial back on their marketing. It’s the only positive attention they get in the media anymore. If everyone knew the vial acts this company had committed, no amount of marketing could save them.