How big is Samsung?

Samsung Total EmployeesImage Source: Nan Palmero, Flickr

It’s not just Samsung’s phablets that are giganticSamsung announced earlier this week that it has broken ground on the new research and development facility it is building in Mountain View, California. Set to be completed by the end of next year, the new Silicon Valley campus will span 8.5 acres and will be highlighted by two six-story office buildings totaling 385,000 square feet. Those facilities still won’t be as massive as the company’s San Jose campus, which is in the process of being expanded by another 1.1 million square feet. Samsung’s various offices are indeed huge but if you think Samsung’s square footage is impressive, wait until you see its global head count.

Within the press release announcing the ground-breaking for Samsung’s new Silicon Valley R&D facility, the company also highlighted a staggering figure. No, it’s not the $187.8 billion in annual sales Samsung racked up, though that figure is certainly remarkable as well. Samsung said that it now employs 270,000 employees across 79 countries.

270,000. That’s a lot of people.

In late July when Samsung reported its second-quarter results, its head count sat at 236,000 according to the company’s earnings release. Now, less than three months later, the impressive figure ballooned to 270,000. That number is greater than the entire population of French Polynesia. At this pace, Samsung’s global employee count may surpass the populations of countries such as Belize and Iceland sometime in the next few years.

Apple, by comparison, employs about 80,000 people around the world.

Samsung is a conglomerate that is consisting of numerous businesses around the world, of course, so it’s not as though the company has nearly 300,000 people working on Galaxy smartphones and tablets. Samsung also builds various electronics components like processors and memory modules, and it sells them to partner companies such as Apple. It also uses those components in its own devices, which span numerous categories from smartphones and computers to televisions, refrigerators and washing machines.

Samsung is one of the most profitable electronics giants in the world, and it’s pretty remarkable how massive the company has become in recent years. The firm’s massive marketing budget may be largely responsible for the sales explosion Samsung has enjoyed in recent years, but 270,000 each played a role in making Samsung the company it is today.

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