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Samsung splits itself in two... internally: Semiconductor biz and then everything else

Smartphones and consumer electronics now under one roof

Samsung is splitting into two internal divisions – a semiconductor unit and one for smartphones, TVs and other consumer electronics – appointing two CEOs in what appears to be the biggest operational shake-up in years.

The top job for semiconductors, the largest and most profitable area of the company, has gone to Kyehyun Kyung. He was CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics and also previously ran the Flash Product and Technology Team, and the DRAM Design Team.

"He is expected to help maintain the company’s semiconductor leadership and leads innovation in the components business," said Samsung in a statement.

Earlier this year, Samsung pinched the crown from Intel as the world's largest maker of semiconductors, according to IC Insights. The splurge in spending on DRAM and flash memory during the pandemic was a major factor in the rise to top the of the ranks.

Device Solutions, the unit that houses Samsung's semiconductors component biz, accounted for ₩103.04trn (£66bn/ $87bn) in 2020, 43.5 per cent of group revenues. In terms of operating profit, the division reported ₩21.12trn (£13.4bn/ $17.8bn) of the group's ₩35.99trn, more than 58 per cent of the total.

Jong-Hee Han, who will continue to head up the Visual Display Business, was promoted to vice chairman and CEO of the newly created SET division comprised of retail devices. He oversaw TV R&D and Samsung said he played a "major role" in scoring top spot for global telly sales for 15 consecutive years.

In other changes, Yongin Park was made President and Head of System LSI, a promotion from exec veep and head of Systems LSI Sales and Marketing. Hark Kyu Park was added as president and CFO of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, and two leaders, KS Choi and Inyup Rang, were appointed to run the SET and Device Solutions groups respectively in North America.

Previously, Samsung was separated into four units, including Consumer Electronics, IT & Mobile Communications, Harman, and Device Solutions. The rationalisation will no doubt be expected to make the Korean tanker more nimble and streamlined. ®

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