By Daniel Hunter

Kwon Oh-Hyun of Samsung may not yet be a household name outside his native South Korea, but he is this year’s most successful brand building CEO.

Results from the BrandFinance Global 500 show he has presided over a massive strengthening of the Samsung brand which is now valued at US$58.7 billion. A combination of advertising and marketing investment, coupled with R&D and new products, added US$20bn to the brand in the last year, a 54% increase.

In comparison, Tim Cook of Apple (US$87.3 billion) has presided over a 24% increase in brand value, achieved despite the roller coaster ride the US electronics giant has had within highly competitive global consumer markets.

Commenting on the mixed fortunes of some of the world’s most valuable brands, David Haigh, CEO of brand valuation and marketing experts Brand Finance, said:

“It is now widely accepted that the CEO is the ultimate custodian of brand and reputation and they are increasingly focussing on ways of building brand strength and value. Steve Jobs was an expert in this regard, steering Apple to the top of the BrandFinance® Global 500. With his passing, the title of international brandmaster is now very much up for grabs.”

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