Samsung promotes mobile, consumer chiefs to share leadership

The electronics giant will now have three "CEOs," emphasizing the independence of its massive divisions

By Jay Alabaster, IDG News Service |  

Samsung Electronics has promoted the heads of its mobile and consumer electronics businesses to share leadership along with the existing boss who oversees components, as the company looks to strengthen the independence of its massive internal divisions.

The company said Friday that both J.K. Shin, head of IT & Communications, and Boo-keun Yoon, who leads consumer electronics will be promoted to "CEO," a role they will share with existing CEO Oh-Hyun Park.

Samsung Electronics dominates in multiple consumer product categories, including mobile phones and TVs, as well as components such as NAND flash, displays, and DRAM. The South Korean giant said in a press release that the personnel moves were aimed at distinguishing its growing handset and television set businesses, which have outgrown its massive component division.

"The new leadership structure will serve to clarify and enhance independent management of the two set divisions, as well as the independent management of the set and component businesses," the company said in the release.

Samsung Electronics is the flagship firm of the Samsung Group, a giant chaebol, or Korean conglomerate. The group has holdings that include everything from healthcare to shipbuilding.

The electronics firm rose to prominence as a DRAM maker, where it started far behind rivals in the U.S. and Japan before overtaking them. It remains dominant globally in components such as memory and mobile processors, but its growing handset business has led to concerns over conflicts with clients for its components such as Apple.

During the fourth quarter of last year, 80 percent of revenue and 70 percent of operating profit came from its mobile and consumer electronics divisions, the rest coming from components.

On Thursday evening in the U.S., J.K. Shin revealed the company's new flagship Samsung Galaxy 4 handset. He has overseen Samsung's handset business as it emerged as the world's largest manufacturer of both overall handsets and smartphones, and its top models now compete on even terms with Apple's iPhone.

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