Samsung replaced the head of its struggling mobile business, Shin Jong-kyun, with a seasoned R&D executive.
The company named 54 year-old Koh Dong-jin, EVP of mobile R&D, as president of the mobile communications business, which has seen a recent improvement in sales. But profitability declined sequentially in Q3 due to a “price adjustment” related to its flagship Galaxy S6 line and change in product mix. It declined 13 per cent quarter-on-quarter.
59 year-old Shin Jong-kyun, the outgoing head of the mobile business who has been called ‘Mr. Galaxy’ and served in the position since 2009, will remain head of the IT & Mobile Communications division but will “focus more on long-term strategy”, the Korea Herald reported.
Koh led the development of the Galaxy S6 and the Galaxy Note 5 phablets and was involved in developing the software platforms such as Samsung Pay and the KNOX mobile security platform.
Shin’s departure was a surprise since the mobile business appeared to be recovering after the company took quick steps to boost sales and profitability, including cutting costs and changing its product mix.
Richard Windsor, in his Radio Free Mobile blog, reckons the move “has nothing to do with performance and everything to do with an orderly transfer of power”.
He expects the recovery started last quarter to continue into Q4 and said the outlook for 2016 is also one of steady growth.