Samsung names Koh Dongjin as president of mobile biz

Samsung HQ in Korea
Samsung Electronics has appointed Koh Dongjin as the president of mobile business.

Interestingly, Samsung has not yet replaced Shin Jong Kyun from the position as the president of the struggling mobile business. The company said Shin Jong Kyun will look into long term strategies of Samsung.

The appointment is happening at a time when the smartphone business is struggling amid fierce competition with rivals such as Apple and Mircomax in India.

According to market research agency Gartner, Samsung has sold 83.58 million units of smartphones in Q3 2015 for 3.7 percent market share. Apple sold 46 million smartphones.

Due to lack of innovation, Samsung could not generate enough response for its smart watch business. On the other hand, Apple has now shipped nearly 7 million smart watches since launch, a figure in excess of all other vendors’ combined shipments over the previous five quarters. In Q3 Apple was the only smart watch vendor to ship more than 300,000 units, according to market research agency Canalys.

LG Electronics last week reshuffled top management, saying Jo Seong-jin, president and CEO of Home Appliances & Air Solutions; Juno Cho, president and CEO of Mobile Communications; David Jung, president and CFO will be the three leaders to head every aspect of LG Electronics’ business.

Samsung said in a statement that Koh Dongjin, executive vice president in charge of mobile R&D, will be promoted to president of its mobile division to take over day-to-day operations from his predecessor Shin Jong Kyun.

Shin will remain as head of the overall mobile division, but he will step back from day-to-day operations to focus on the long-term business strategy.

Koh contributed to developing Samsung’s solutions and services such as Samsung Pay and KNOX when in charge of mobile R&D.

It marked the second annual reshuffle of Samsung Group since Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong took the actual helm following his father Lee Kun Hee’s hospitalisation for heart attack in May 2014, IANS reported.

The de-facto leader made little changes in last year’s annual reshuffle, apparently seeking stability in the group’s management in the absence of Chairman Lee.

This year’s move of the helm of smartphone operations, Samsung’s main cash-cow, from 59-year-old Shin to 54-year-old Koh may indicate a generational shift like the management transfer from Chairman Lee to his son Jae Yong.

Samsung has shown weak profits since last year, and has lost a position as the No. 1 smartphone seller in China, the world’s largest market.

In another major reshuffle, Samsung’s consumer electronics division chief Yoo Boo-keun will hand over the title of head of the appliances business though he will remain as head of the overall TV and appliances division to focus on the long-term strategy.

In the executive leadership reshuffle, six were promoted to presidency, and one to vice presidency. Eight others faced duty shifts.

Baburajan K
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