Samsung Electronics has appointed Roh Tae-moon as its new smartphone chief as it tries to regain the lost crown of the world’s number one smartphone maker. The development is crucial as it comes at a time when the South Korean company is facing tough competition from Huawei and other low-cost rivals. 51-year-old Roh, the youngest president of Samsung, will take over the position from DJ Koh. Koh will remain the head of the company’s mobile, IT and communication arms. Roh played a crucial role in developing Samsung’s Galaxy smartphones. He has been with the Samsung since 1997 and was promoted last year only because of his solid work helped established Galaxy Note series. Roh, a mobile industry veteran, is also known to cut costs and shifted focus on outsourcing handset production to better compete with Chinese companies.
Samsung is the world’s largest manufacturer of computer chips and smartphones. It is now looking forward to accelerating this into profit as the company has reported a downfall in earning for the past five quarters. The fall is because of a downward trend in the memory chip market along with global trade frictions. The overhaul of the top management, which was delayed by a year, came at a time when the final court ruling is about to come in the bribery case related to the group’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong. Some believe that the court ruling, in the coming weeks, could again put Lee behind bars. Samsung feels that a change in top leadership would help the company to better cope with the uncertain future and global business environment.
Meanwhile, all the three joint CEOs of Samsung – Kim Hyun-Suk, CEO of its consumer electronics business; Kim Ki-nam, vice chairman and CEO of its semiconductor business; and DJ Koh, CEO of its mobile business – have retained their leadership roles. The company, which faced the loss of billions of dollars in 2016 and delayed the launch of much-awaited foldable phones last year, is hopeful of earning some profit with the reshuffle in the top leadership.