Samsung considers management shuffle in mobile shake-up

Samsung's management team may pay the price after a difficult year and a decrease in mobile market share.


Samsung is considering a shake-up of management executives as a difficult financial year draws to a close.

The South Korean electronics giant is holding internal discussions related to its mobile division, according to the Wall Street Journal. On Monday, the publication reported that co-chief executive and mobile head Jong-Kyun Shin might be removed from his post. If so, in this scenario, the executive would lose his co-CEO position in the company.

The 58-year-old might be replaced by BK Yoon, who currently oversees Samsung's home-appliance and television business. However, rather than a complete shift over to the smartphone and tablet unit, Yoon would supervise both businesses.

According to sources familiar with the matter, nothing is set in stone and no final decisions have been made. However, if Yoon should take over the mobile division, the executive -- considering his expertise in smart appliances -- could help Samsung corner the market on the Internet of Things (IoT) appliances and the so-called connected home.

The publication reports that 61-year-old Loon has been one of the main proponents in Samsung's connected home plans, and signed off the acquisition of SmartThings by Samsung earlier this year . SmartThings, a US-based startup, develops smartphone-operated home device controllers, and now operates within Samsung's Open Innovation Centre Group.

While different scenarios are being discussed in the potential shake-up, another co-CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, is expected to remain in charge of components production, including display panels and semiconductors.

Samsung's third quarter financial statement revealed the electronics giant's net profit slid by 49 percent year-on-year. Market share in the lucrative smartphone market also plummeted, as the company sold approximately 40 percent fewer flagship Galaxy S5 models than expected. In addition, sales of the device in China -- one of Samsung's largest markets by revenue -- fell by 50 percent due to stiff competition and new players including Xiaomi.

Read on: In the enterprise