Shin avoids boot: Samsung hangs onto mobile chief despite crappy Galaxy S5 sales

BK for JK play stayed – WSJ

Samsung has surprisingly opted to hang onto its current head of mobile JK Shin, despite rumours that he was for the chop after the mobile division underperformed all year.

Reports suggested last week that Shin would be ousted in favour of appliances and telly boss BK Yoon because sales of Sammy’s latest flagship, the Galaxy S5, were more than a little disappointing.

According to the WSJ, S5 sales were 40 per cent below the Korean company’s projections and 50 per cent lower in China.

But the Samsung Group’s heir apparent and acting chair Jay Y Lee opted to keep Shin on for now, with BK Yoon staying on as consumer electronics chief and components boss Kwon Oh-hyun also staying put. The guy taking responsibility for the poor mobile sales is DJ Lee, one of Shin’s top execs, who is president and head of sales and marketing for the mobile unit, familiar sources told the Wall Street Journal.

It’s possible that Samsung opted for a smaller reshuffle at the top to keep things stable for now, as Lee’s father and still technically chairman Lee Kun-hee remains in hospital after a heart attack in May. The firm may prefer to keep any big management changes on the back-burner until Jay Y Lee is fully in charge.

But Shin may also have earned some breathing room as the man in charge through the height of Sammy’s mobe popularity, having run the division since 2009.

“JK Shin has made big contributions in making Samsung Electronics the number one maker of mobile phones,” June Lee, the head of corporate communications at Samsung’s Corporate Strategy Office, told a group of reporters at a briefing following the announcement.

“The scope of personnel reshuffling is narrower than it has been before,” he added. ®

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