Semikor Ltd.  

I quit Gold Star in Pusan after 3 and half years of service this way and moved back to Seoul in March 1964 without any new job arranged. How brave I was !! I was confident I could get a job unless I was too greedy for pay or position. It was a decision just to live based on my philosophy – ¡°ENJOY TODAY¡±. I didn¡¯t want to work in a company which I hated and any job just to survive would be good enough for me as far as the job was interesteing to work for me.

About a month after we moved to Seoul, Willy was born on 4/29/64 and, exactly one month later, father passed away by throat cancer on 5/29/64. He lived painful last few years due to the cancer and visited Dongsan Hospital in Taegu by train every month as that was the only hospital equipped with radioactivity treatment for the cancer in Korea at the time.

However, I was lucky enough again that a high school classmate working in Samsung at the time arranged me a job at ¡°Radio Seoul¡± transmission station, the first commercial radio station in Korea at that time operated by Samsung group, as a maintenance engineer of radio broadcasting transmitting installations. When I worked at Radio Seoul for a year, the President of the Choong-Ang Tading company whom I have known for about a year approached me and proposed to work for him to build a TV manufacturing plant for his new project – TV manufacturing jointly with RCA of U. S. A..

Since manufacturing had been my specialty which interested me always rather than broadcasting station,  I moved to Choong-Ang Trading Company and built a small TV manufacturing plant with my knowledge learned in Gold Star and Hitachi. When the plant was completed in several months, we found out the story was scheme to get special benefit from government and we had been all cheated by him.

This way, my job at Choong-Ang Trading Co. was over in less than a year and I became jobless again without even the last 3 months of salary paid. I took a sample TV from RCA (12 inch black and white TV set) instead of 3 months of salary and quit the job (We became one of the first family with TV set in Korea instead !!).

Under this kind of situation, I was proposed by Mr. Seung-Chan Park of Gold Star who helped me at Gold Star, to interview with Fairchild Semiconductors which was just going to open new assembly plant in Korea. I met Mr. Lyle Clevenger, the General Manager of Fairchild Korea (Semikor Ltd.) and this was how I started to work for Ameican Company.

It was a very important meeting for me to get a job. However, I have never talked with American in English face to face. The first experience of mine to talk in English was I asked to American MP ¡°What time is it now?¡±during the Korean War when I was 9th. grader in Pusan, where I worked as a harber labor and he showed me his watch without any reply. I was so glad to confirm he could understand my English at least.

After that experience, when I was in college, I learned German at FLI (Foreign Language Institute) attached to Seoul National University for 3 months to prepare to go to Germany and talked some English with German teacher though we talked German mostlty.

My English conversation had been developed mostly though the ham radio actually. I talked with foreign hams every day over the radio. However, all we talked were just a few sentences such as – ¡°My transmitter is ¡¦.¡± ¡°My receiver is ¡¦¡± ¡° My antenna is ¡¦..¡± ¡°Wheather here is sunny and warm¡¦.¡± etc. etc.. A few same sentences every day. However, I found later this is the best way to learn foreign language just as a baby practices when he learns to talk. Anyway, this was all I had experienced to talk English at the time and I had to talk with American General Manager to get the job!!

I met Mr. Clevenger at a hotel. In Korean companies, there was no interview and hired people just looking at resume only rather depending on the person who introduced the applicant to the company. When they had an interview, it was a kind of test asking various questions. However, American way seemed to be totally different. He explained about the Fairchild and we talked about various things about Korea – about society, people, history, geography etc. etc.. It was not really an interview but a conversation between friends. (Probably he observed me during this conversation.) We talked for more than 2 hours and I could be more and more confident on my English as we talked. Finally, he asked me to wait for the further notice at home.

About a week later, I got a mail from Mr. Clevenger asking me to come to a hotel to have a lunch together. (There was no telephone in my home as telephone was extremely expensive and very hard to get installed.)  I met him and after talking about all kinds of subject of Korea again for a few hours taking a lunch, he asked me how much salary I want to get.

In Korea, it had been a general practice we never talked about salary but found out on the first pay day after we were hired. As it was the first time to be asked about salary, I was really surprised and didn¡¯t know what to say. Since I was asked about it, I had to say something. I instantly figured out approximately 50% more than what I was paid in Gold Star and Radio Seoul and asked him it as the amount of salary I wanted. It seemed it was too high from the salary level of Semikor they have planned and he tried to negotiate the salary. Well, I have never experienced to negotiate my salary which must be the value of me and could not be lowered because of my pride. We coulod not approach to the agreement for a while (about 30 minutes?) and insisted own ideas each other.

However, I needed a job desperately and realized I had to compromise somehow. Therefore, I got an idea and proposed  ¡°I don¡¯t know Fairchild and you don¡¯t know me well each other. Let¡¯s have a trial period for 6 months. 6 months later, if you think I am worthwhile as much as I am asking, you should adjust my salary to the level I am asking. On the other hand, I will try to understand the Fairchild for 6 months and will quit the job if I find it is not the company worthwhile to work any longer.¡±

I still don¡¯t know how this jobless guy could be that brave and totally inexperienced salary negotiater could come up with that kind of great idea instantly. And how could I express all this in English with so poor English conversation experience. Any way, Mr. Clevenger accepted my proposal finally and I was hired after approximately 4 hours of discussion. I think I had a special talent to be Americanized accepting their culture easily perhaps, as my first salary negotiation was quite successful (I think) or I might have been influenced by my father who had been in U. S. A. for college in early years.

This way, I started to work for Semikor (Semi-conductor Kor-ea) with badge number 13 and the first job was to translate all Operation Instructions into Korean language which took a few months untill the first operators were hired by Semikor. It was not easy to translate all strange terminologies, such as Die-Attach, Lead-Bond, Lead-Weld etc. etc., which I have never heard and I didn¡¯t know what those mean, as Semiconductor Assembly Operation itself was my first experience.

However, I managed the translation somehow with a lot of imaginations and completed by the time the plant was ready to hire first operators. Now, I was appointed as the Training Supervisor to train newly hired operators for 2 weeks. I think I got this job because I was talking much and very well perhaps (???).

When we started Semikor, all Korean plants had been operated during 8:00 AM – 5:00 PM without any shift work. Semikor was the first company in Korea to implement 2 shifts operation, working 6:00 AM – 2:00 PM and 2:00 PM – 10:00 PM. There was a curfew in Korea at the time between Midnight and 4:00 AM . It was not easy to go to the company at 4:00 AM – 6:00 AM as there was no bus operating at that hour and my home was at Miadong, northwestern corner of Seoul , while Semikor was at the southern corner of Seoul. The only public transportation at that time period was taxi which was too expensive. We talked about this problem at the second meeting at the hotel and Mr. Clevenger promised the company will provide transportation to come to company at early mornig only, as going home at the afternoon was not a problem. And the company car picked me at home at 5:00 AM every morning.

After I worked this way as the Training Supervisor for several weeks and number of workers were increased to a few hundreds, I learned that the company provided this kind of transportation to only employees hired at the beginning (about 10 of them) and all others - supervisors, mechanics, technicians – had great difficulties coming to company at early morning without any public transportation. (Operators were OK as they all lived at cheap lodgings near the company.)

I and Young-Il Lee, the Production Supervisor at the time, were eldest seniors of the group working in the production area. We went to General Manager¡¯s office one day and proposed the company to provide the early morning transportation to all shift working people contracting with a bus company, as it is not a big money considering total company operation cost.

However, the answer was ¡°NO¡± because it was not in the ¡°Contract¡± with these employees, while it was in the ¡°Contract¡± with the first 10 or so people. We talked for about an hour but the result was absolutely ¡°NO¡±. All we could get was to learn a new culture of western society which is working by ¡°Logic¡± than ¡°Human Feeling¡±. Instead, if ¡°Logic¡± is right, it is much easier to convince them than Koreans to whom the FACE is so importannt which makes very hard to change their minds many cases.

The meeting was over this way. However, we could not just leave the office as failure. Finally, I said ¡°OK. Your logic is right. We can not argue on that. However, in Korea, the ¡°Human Feeling¡± is more important than ¡°Logic¡± in many cases. Regardless it is right or wrong, this is that kind of society which you have to know if you want to continue business in Korea. Since you say ¡°NO¡±, we have no choice but to do our responsibility as seniors. We will rent the bus and provide transportation to our juniors out of our salary.¡±

After this statement, we just came out of the office. On the way back to my desk, my boss Mr. Lew Silverstein who joined the meeting but never said anything just listening to everyone, followed me and showed his hand with thumb up without any word, which seemed saying ¡°You did great¡±. 

I and Young-Il Lee actually paid bus rent for a month (I am not sure now but it was about 20% of our salary perhaps.) However, when I got next pay check, I just lost my word as THE SALARY WAS INCREASED BY BUS RENT COST!! Mr. Silverstein was such a great guy!! I was really impressed on his humanity and, suddenly, he was such a respectable boss to me. Officially, he could not argue against Mr. Clevenger¡¯s ¡°Logic¡±. But I saw there one of wonderful American who understand oriental ¡°Human Feeling¡± too.

After I worked as Training Supervisor for about 2 months, I was asked to work as IE. I had never heard about IE and asked ¡°What is IE?¡±. He said ¡°It is Industrial Engineer.¡±. IE is so popular these days in Korea too but it was totally strange area in 1967. Any way, I became an Industrial Engineer about which I know nothing and another guy took my job of Traning Supervisor reporting to me in addition to new additional assignment of Line Maintenance – Production Equipment Maintenance with all mechanics reporting to me.

With so many guys suddenly reporting to me, it sounded like a promotion. However, as there is no titles such as Section Managers or Sub-section Managers in American companies usually – so many different managers such as Dept. Managers, Section Managers with hundres or thousands reporting or just one guy reporting. So different from all Korean companies with these kinds of titles to show the ranks clearly – I was really confused whether I had been promoted or took much wider responsibility without any promotion. Well, what the hell, what does it make difference? The bigger problem was ¡°What is the IE? and what should this IE have to do?¡±

Because I didn¡¯t know what the IE is exactly, I started to focus Line Maintenance and Operator Training, which I know what to do. One day, Mr. Silverstein asked me to analyze what the maximum production capacity of this plant would be. I have never learned how to analyze it and he didn¡¯t tell me how to do it. Well, I didn¡¯t want to say I didn¡¯t know how to do it and just said OK. I tried to figure out how to calculate it by myself for a few days and decided to multiply total number of equipment by UPH (Unit per hour – number of unit produced each hour of each machine) at each process and figure out the capacity based on the process of the lowest capacity which should be the bottle neck of the whole line. I calculated it this way and gave the report to him.

He looked at it for a while without any comment, took a sheet of paper from his desk drawer and gave me it. On the sheet, it was the maximum capacity of the line already calculated by him. He started to educate me how to calculate it now. He explained we have to give 5% allowance for retard as operators are getting tired working whole day. We also have to give 3% additional allowance to the operations requiring microscope as those operators will be more tired looking through the microscope. etc. etc.

It would be much easier if he would have explained these factors in advance, which I would do if I would ask this kind of job to the inexperienced guy, but he didn¡¯t. Why? He always asked me to do something without education and explained what I had missed later. However, when he talk about the problem later, he never blamed me but explained what went wrong very friendly always. I wondered why he is doing that way.

After thinking over and over for many days, I have finally came up to the answer. People get stronger impression and remember much better when he makes mistake first, realize he has made mistake and learn how to fix it, than he learn it first and does not make mistake. People also relize the problems much better while he thinks over and over how to do the job.

¡°Learn through mistake.¡± This was what he was teaching me, not by kind education first but by self experience, again!!

He trained me this way for a few months and by the time I have learned what the IE is and other jobs too, he called me one day, gave me a few books about safety of the plant operation and asked me to write ¡°Safety Regulation¡± of the company. With my limited English knowledge, how long would it take just to read all these books first of all? Several months perhaps. (There was no Korean company with Safety Regulation in 1967 and I understand safety is still one of the weakest area of Korean society today too.)

This prestigious guy could not say I could not do it. I took the books and tried to read them for about a week. However, there was no way I could read all these books and write Safety Regulation which I have never seen yet. About a week later, I had no choice but to give up. I went him and said I could not do it returning all books.

He din¡¯t say anything but smiled, and started to write the regulation by himself. He came to office at 6:00 AM and went home at 10:00 PM working whole 2 shifts hours every day for more than a week, I remember. He must had iron body and I didn¡¯t know how many hours he slept a day. He never seemed to be tired nor sleepy at office. I thought it should be the difference of westerners grown with meats and Koreans with Kimchi, and I asked Jane to feed a lot of meat to our children every day.

Any way, about a week later, he gave me the draft of Safety Regulation with more than a hundred pages and asked me to give General Manager¡¯s secretary to type it. While I was walking to the secretary, I looked at his draft, and when I saw the last page, I could not help but stopped there. I felt my head was hammered. There, I saw ¡°PREPARED by D. I. CHO¡± !!!!!!

He did all this hard work for more than a week and he wrote as if it was prepared by me. How many people could give honor to others working for him? I learned instantly a great management which I would never learn from others during my whole life perhaps.

¡°Give honor to people working for you and take blame of them yourself, as the company is usually much more generous to high positions but blame harder for the mistake of the lower positions. This way, Get the respect and trust of your people working for you. The result of your organization is achieved by actual workers always but the honor of success of the organization goes to you any way.¡±

What a great and most useful management philosophy it is!!! What a great training I am getting without paying any tuition or spending a lot of time to learn it. I realized how lucky guy I am to have this great boss!!! This philosopy had been permanently implanted in my brain as one of basic philosophy of my manangement thereafter.

A few months later, it seemed he felt he had trained me enough. He promoted me to his position – Manufacturing Engineering Manager - and returned to United States. I became a Dept. Manager in 6 months since I joined the Semikor with many additional responsibilities, such as Plant Facility Maintenance, Safety, Security etc., just about every thing of the manufacturing operation except Production, Engineering and Quality Control, reporting directly to the General Manager, Mr. Lyle Clevenger. (I called our Dept. "MISC. DEPT.)

Mr. Silverstein was really a great boss for me. He had a magic to make all his people to respect him. Not only he was the most respectable boss for me, but the best teacher in my whole life to learn operation as well as management. I could learn all this logical and reasonable American management skill and philosophy from him which became my basic knowledge, operating and managing several plants thereafter. I believe he should be honored for at least half of my success in various plant operations in my life and I was really lucky guy to meet him at my early life.

I recall it was several weeks after I started to report to Mr. Clevenger. One day, he came to me and asked me to follow him with pen and paper. We toured whole plant together and he started to point out every place wrong and to be corrected. He pointed out more than 150 places (really !!. no exaggeration). I thought our plant was the best plant in the world but had to relaize it seemed to be the one of the worst.

In semiconductor plant, the cleanliness is the key of the operation and there are dry boxes in front of operators to store raw materials temporarily with glass windors to prevent the dust to get in which have to be closed all the time. However, what we found was about one third of the windows were not fully closed. Since operators had to take out and put in raw materials few times an hour, they were simply not careful enough to close the windows fully though they were trained to close them. The problem was how come I didn¡¯t notice it ???

Also, there were 3 working stations at each working table with 3 operators working at each station and each operating line consisted of 5-6 working tables in a single line. This line was supposed to be a straight line including dry boxes on them. However, as operators opened and closed dry box windows so often, none of the dry box line was straight. However, what the Mr. Clevenger said was ¡°If it is supposed to be straight, it must be straight always.¡± Yes. It is right logic, sir!! However, we have hundreds of operators, who must be careful opening and closing dry box windows always for whole day without exception. Is it possible?

Well, it was even a easier part. There was a nail on the wall but nothing hanging there. He asked ¡°What is this nail for?¡± His logic is – if someone put the nail for a certain purpose, it must be used for that purpose or it has to be removed.¡± What a crazy logic it was!!

There was a screw driver on an operator¡¯s working table but no one working there. He said ¡°The tool should be either in use or stored in the tool box. It should never be left on the table not used.¡± Oh my god!! There was a tiny crack on the wall and his complaint was ¡°Why is it not repaired yet?¡±

Sir, all you said were definitely right logic. However, none of them would be harmful either for operation or for product quality directly. Why are we waisting expensive General Manager¡¯s and Dept. Manager¡¯s times for more than an hour to find all these detailed and unimportant matters?

Well, it was the General Manager¡¯s order. What can I do even though I couldn¡¯t agree with him. I started immediately to retrain all operators and mechanics to correct everything he pointed out. Also, I myself toured whole production area several times a day checking the line from his view point.

About a week later, he came to me and asked to follow him with pen and paper again. We toured the whole production area again and he found about 50-60 items to be corrected yet, though it was far less than the first time.

I was really upset myself and made my mind to see whether he would win or I win. I would make him to find nothing!! Never again!! I had concentrated most of my effort just for this problem and did all I could do almost whole day every day touring around the line again and again.

About 2 weeks later (It seemed he gave more time this time intentionally because we could be strained for short period of time but would return to normal sooner or later.), We toured again, and this time, there were only less than 10 items he could point out!! It looked like he was really surprised at the improvement we made in such a short time. Thereafter, I had never been asked to tour the line again. Result – I won.

However, I started to wonder why he did it. From my point of view, it was not logical, which they are based on, to waist such a great time for which it would not help operation nor product quality. There must be a good reason for him to do it. But what is it? I had thought it over and over for a week until finally I found the answer by myself.

Semiconductor requires extremely precise operation always as it is the war against 10 micrometer (1/100,000 mm at that time. It is sub-nanometer - smaller than 1/1,000,000. mm today.) which can be seen only through microscope or electron microscope. Therefore, it requires constant strain of everyone in the operation area which is extremely difficult to continue for 8 haours a day every day.

Not only for operators, it is also almost impossible for supervisors or managers to observe whether he or she is really strained at the work always or not. The only way to know is indirect way observing what he had pointed out – Are the dry box windows fully closed always? Are they straight always? Is any tool never left on the table unused? etc. etc.. If these are all perfectly done, which is practically impossible if you are not strained always, it shows they are all strained always. Regardless how much you educate them, it is really not easy to follow for operators. The only solution is to make it a habit so that it will be achieved naturally without any special effort. That was the way he had demonstrated this to me.

Then, why didn¡¯t he tell me it in advance? I realized this was the same way Mr. Silverstein did. If he explained me, I would understand it easily but would forget it easily too. He gave me a strong impression and made me almost mad, which was strong enough for me never to forget!! What a effective way of education even though it took several weeks to educate. Some guys might not think about this as much as I did and this training method might not work. However, I believe he thought it would work on me. Any way, it definitely worked extremely well to me. I could not help but respecting him very much thereafter as anothere great teacher of mine and appreciated his training very much.

One more episode. Several weeks after the above episode, I submitted a Purchase Requisition to buy a pound of nail which was noticed by Mr. Clevenger. He called me and asked what for I am buying a pound of nail. I answered where to use and he asked how many I would need for the job. I said I would need only several pieces this time but I have to buy a pound because it is general practice in Korean market selling by pounds rather than pieces and it will be much more expensive if we buy only several pieces.

He started again his typical logic. ¡°If you buy too many more than actually required, you have to store the excess nails in store room which will add another item in the store ledger, require additional shelf space in the store and the time of storeekeeper to manage it, which will add up to the company operation cost. If you need to buy really for the operation, I will loan even a million dollars for you. However, I don¡¯t want to waist even a penny just for one time convenience only.¡± What a great logic!! But what can I do as far as he is the General Manager of the company and his logic is always right? I rewrote the requisition just for several pieces.

However, I was mad again. Should the General Manager concern spending a penny? Well. OK. If you want, you will get it. I had declared a war against him again in my mind and started to think over and over to prepare any requisition from his view point. And he had never questioned on my requisition thereafter. I won again.

Mean time, it became slowly my philosophy also as I had to agree with him in principle. This is how I have learned very valuable lesson from him. ¡°Spend money to buy anything more valuable than you spend – not only materials, but also spiritual such as trust, friendship or respect, etc.. Never spend even a penny without getting any valuable return more expensive than you are paying.¡± I believe he was another great teacher for me and I had really appreciated and respected him through my whole life. And I was really a lucky guy again to work with these two great bosses before I was involved in top plant management jobs.

I worked as the Manager of Manufacturing Engineering Department for about a year this way. It was a summer day in 1968 when Mr. Clevenger called me and proposed to work as a Local Sales Manager. At the time, there were many big and small transistor radio manufacturing companies in Korea. The Gold Star Co. was the largest and most of other companies were manufacturing radios in large volume for export rather than for domestic market. Semikor final-tested the assembled transistors for prime products which meets Fairchild specifications and sold the fall-outs to these Korean radio manufacturers at cheaper prices.

One of my college classmate had been working as the Local Sales Manager of Fairchild who was just scouted by Motorola Korea and Semikor needed a new Local Sales Manager. He was an engineer but a quite a capable politician too. He associated with people very well, play well, and, more than anything, he drunk well which was essential as a salesman in Korea. Compared to him, I was totally oposite person. I didn¡¯t think anyone in the world would ever imagine I could be a sales man, because I could not drink alcohol at all first of all.  When I was proposed to work for Local Sales, my immediate answer was ¡°No Thanks¡±. I said ¡°I do not fit to sales job and it will be more harmful than useful for local sale.¡± However, he insisted to take the job as he did not need a sales man but a sales engineer and I was the only one he could think of to do the job well enough as far as he knew.

In addition, he sugar coated the proposal saying my sales expense account would be open without any limit and I would get a sales car with driver, all company paid. At the time, I was only 33 years old. And there was no privately owned car but company cars only for presidents or directors in Korea at that time and no one at that age could have a company car.

Most of all, the offer to give a company car was the most attractive condition for me. How nice if I could use company car at the age of 33. Finally I had accepted offer with one condition – My position of Manufacturing Engineering Dept. Manager should be left vacant for next 3 months and I will continue sales job only if I could sell anything within 3 months. If I can not sell in 3 months, I will return to Manufacturing Engineering..

I accepted the new job this way just because the company car was so attractive. I toured all customers with my classmate before he leave for Motorola Korea and my crazy sales job was started. At the time, all bars or night clubs were at Moogyodong of downtown Seoul. As I knew I have to entertain customers at these places often, I had to go there almost every other day with customers.

At that time, if we went to the bar or night club, there were plenty of girls working there and girls sat with customers one for one. I gave a special tip to the girl beside me in advance and asked her to drink my glass too. Then she drunk my drink carefully not to be noticed by my customers and left empty glass in front of me as if I emptied the glass. I acted as if I drunk too much later when it was the time to act. It looked like my act was not too bad as some customers thought I am a good drinker even after a year. Any way, I did very hard sales job to me this way.

About 2 months had passed this way when the Taehan Electric Wire Co., one of big customer, had to place a large order of transisters - $300,000. worth. The total transistor market at the time was something like $1,000,000. and $300,000. order was so huge – 30% of annual sale of total market. Naturally, big competetion between Fairchild and Motorola had started and we were lowering price each other by a penny every time, from 35 cents for a set of 5 transistors plus 1 diode, all the way down to 26 cents.

Since we could not continue this endless price reduction any further, I proposed to the Plant Manager, who was our senior of Engineering College of Seoul National University, to introduce me to the president of Taehan Electric Wire Co., as the Plant Manager was so indecisive and could not make any decision. He agreed and we went to head office of Taehan Electric Wire Co. at the down town Seoul together and met the president of the company, Mr. Kyung-Dong Sul.  

I don¡¯t remember how old he was then. To a guy at the early 30s, he looked like very old man. I explained what had happened in the past and said ¡°I can not lower the price any further. If you give a price you want and it is acceptable to me, I will take the order. If it is too low, I will give up and you may place the order to Motorola. I just want your final price to buy from us.¡±

What a surprise. I would never forget his statement and his face. He said ¡°I can not believe how a guy worked and get paid by Fairchild until recently, can betray Fairchild next day, compete against Fairchild and lower the price that much!! What kind a guy he is? Plant Manager, do you think I am a blood sucker of American people? I don¡¯t rust that kind of traitor. I don¡¯t care the price. Just order it to Fairchild immediately!! Wow!! The Plant Manager didn¡¯t know how to respond and just said ¡°Yes, Yes, Yes Sir.¡± And we came out from his office.

That was the ethics of old Koreans at the time. Even we at the ages of 30s and 40s were not familiar to it and could not help but just surprising. We went to Taehan Electric Wire plant directly from there and I could return to my office with $300,000. worth order sheet in my hand, which was the first order I took. Now, I had no choice but to continue sales job as I had promised to Mr. Clevenger.

I continued my Local Sales job for about one and half years this way. Mean time, I had lot of hard times at the bars and night clubs, but had great fun times too. As I was changed to sales job, Mr. Clevenger was no longer my boss and I reported to Mr. Lyle Ronald in Fairchild Fareast Sales office in Tokyo. He was an Australian speaking somewhat strange Australian English but wonderful nice boss for me again. (I was always so lucky to meet nice guys.) He sent me telex almost once a quarter asking me to come to Tokyo. However, since it took almost a month to get entry visa for Japan but only a day or two to get visa to Hong Kong, I always got the visa to Hong Kong first and got transit visa to Japan which also could be obtained in a day.

As I went to Hong Kong without any purpose, I just spent a few days there relaxing with Fairchild sales men and old manufacturing friends whom I had met there earlier while I was Manufacturing Engineering Manager. (There was another Fairchild assembly plant in Hong Kong .)

When I went to Tokyo through Hong Kong, all I had to do was just to visit few Japanese companies who place orders of transistor radios to our customers in Korea with Lyle for a few days and return home. In the evening, he usually took me to most expensive restaurants and paid by credit cards. He gets real receipts as well as credit card slip too. He used his credit card slips to submist his expense report to the company and gave me real receipt to use it to submit my expense report in Korea which will be evantually approved by him. This way, I could make $100-$200 in free which he asked me to buy gifts from Japan for my wife. His logic was – as salesman has to work with customers any time during the day, even at midnight, I have to make my wife always happy so that I can always concentrate to the job. Wonderful logic!! Why not?

Since my expense report will be approved by him any way, I had no reason to worry and spent quite a compny money for family, taking Jane and friends to very expensive high class restaurants from time to time. This might be one of the reasons why Fairchild had a big problem to be almost bancrupt, but I understand most American companies are very generous to salesmen usually for their expenses. Because both my bosses in Japan and Korea were all so generous to me, we really had lot of fun times travelling around whole Korea with company car with family and friends, went top class restaurant like Walker Hill and brought various gifts from Japan and Hong Kong which were not usually available in Korea at that time.

I always carried several 100,000 won bank notes always and spent quite a money. Gold Star was our biggest customer and my classmates working there at Radio Design Room sent me telex asking me to come to Pusan from time to time as if there is a problem. However, their problem was nothing but they want to have a drink at Dongnae geisha house. I flew down to Pusan, took them to Dongnae and the problem was solved many cases.

Because of this kind of experience together with my philosophy of ENJOY TODAY, I think it has become partially my habit to spend money too easily even now. Though I spent company money well, still, I believe I have spent far less than what my classmate had spent as a Fairchild salesman as he really loved to drink at expensive bars and night clubs while I hated to go that kind of places.  

While I was working for sales, I also learned a lot of things. I learned the economy of the semiconductor market how it would cycle every few years. However, the most important thing I had learned was, though many Koreans would not believe it, HONESTY and SINCERITY are the key of the sales rather than great entertainment, as most of Koreans think.

Motorola had a wide beautiful carpeted sales office in downtown Seoul with a very pretty secretary sitting there. My office was a small corner in the plant very next to the Production Control office. I received Daily Production Report every morning and checked all the numbers by myself every day. I knew which products would be exactly available today or tomorrow always while my classmate at Motorola was sitting at the downtown office communicating with plant Production Control far a way over the phone. He had no choice but to depend on whatever Production Control said over the phone. Therefore, he missed the delivery commitments from time to time, but I never did. Whenever, there was a production problem and I sensed the delivery might be very dificult to meet, I discussed with Production Control and changed production schedule some times as much as we could to make sure our committed delivery could be met. If it seemed to be inevitable even with our best efforts, I had informed to the customer well in advance so that the customer could be well prepared for the problem.

If there were any quality problem on our product, I informed the problem honestly to customers as early as possible so that our customers can adjust to the problem, while Motorola tried to hide the problem as much as possible and had to shut down customer lines sooner or later. I could get always strong trust of customers while Motorola lost their faith from customers slowly. In 1969, the sencond year of my sales job, I could sell $950,000. which was approaximately 95% of total Korean market while Motorola could sell only less than 5%. This lesson of customer service with HONESTY and SINCERITY had been fully utilized at Samsung later also and made great contribution to Samasung sales.

I worked at Fairchild Semikor for 3 years and 3 months and left Semikor in Feb. 1970 to join KMI. Semikor was my best school which I would never forget for my whole life. What I have learned in Semikor was so useful for my success at KMI plant, TMI plant in Taiwan and Samsung plants later throughout whole my life and became my fundamental management philosophy.