Samsung names new smartphone head

Seoul, Dec 1 (IANS) South Korean tech behemoth Samsung Electronics on Tuesday named a new head of its smartphone division as the mobile phone-making business is struggling amid fiercer competition with rivals.

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

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, the company said.

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

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.

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.

The leadership change in the smartphone division also came amid struggling business. 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.

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