Choi Gee Sung

Seokyong Lee/Bloomberg News

Choi Gee Sung

Korean electronics giant Samsung has spent years honing its design chops. But nothing underlined the company's emphasis on design as a differentiator more than promoting former creative chief Choi Gee Sung to CEO last year. Choi, 58, joined Samsung's trading arm in 1977 and worked in design and marketing to build the company's market share in mobile phones, televisions, and digital media. Credited with pushing Samsung into first place among TV manufacturers, Choi's design savvy, applied across the company he now leads, could significantly impact the future of the industry.