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LG Electronics anoints new CEO, elevates exec who grew laptop biz too

M&A department elevated in importance, gets more resources

LG Electronics has named its new CEO: William Cho.

Currently the Chaebol's chief strategy officer, Cho will assume the big chair on December 1.

Another promotion saw current senior vice president Jang Ik-hwan elevated to executive vice president, and to head LG's Business Solutions Company after what the company described as "successfully growing the IT business portfolio to make LG one of the fastest-growing brands in the notebook, laptop and monitor business". Another senior veep, Eun Seok-hyun, will lead LG's Vehicle Component Solutions company.

The new boss seems to have quickly put his stamp on the organisation. LG's mergers and acquisitions department has been reorganised to the level of a full company division and given "more resources". Precisely what that implies – cash with which to buy other entities, more people to consider those transactions, or both – has not been explained.

The Chaebol's Customer Satisfaction Management Center has also morphed into a Customer Value Innovation Office. The new structure aims to help LG "speed up its digital transformation process related to customer experience" by levelling-up its AI Big Data department to division level. A new Chief Data Office will oversee those efforts.

A lot of the changes are directed at consumer tech, but when the company recently quit the smartphone business its board indicated that resources would be directed towards developing new business-to-business solutions.

Kim Byoung-hoon's appointment suggests LG values his experience in PCs and monitors – which are LG Electronics' current products with greatest B2B applicability. The company is currently a top five vendor for computer displays, but is lumped in with the group of "other" vendors battling for the 22 per cent of the PC market not owned by Dell, HP, Lenovo, Apple, or Acer.

The new leadership team has its work cut out in both markets. ®

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