Samsung names new CEOs, merges mobile and CE divisions

Leadership reorganisation at Korean tech giant Samsung  will see separate parts of the business combined into the new SET Division, led by newly promoted CEO and Vice Chairman JH Han.

The move is part of a raft of promotions announced today by Samsung, which sees two of its three main verticals – consumer electronics and mobile – fall under a single boss. Meanwhile  President Kyehyun Kyung was simultaneously named CEO of its semiconductor unit.

Perhaps pointing to an emphasis on future innovation within all three business areas, Samsung described the top-level reshuffle as putting in place ‘new leadership for the next phase of the company’s future growth and to strengthen its business competitiveness.’

Samsung said of the new Set Division CEO: “JH Han is a leading expert in TV research and development and has played a major role in the Company achieving the top position in global TV sales for the 15th consecutive year. He is expected to strengthen the synergies among the different businesses in the SET Division and help drive new businesses and technologies.”

Elsewhere in the leadership changes, Samsung named Yongin Park President and Head of System LSI Business, Hark Kyu Park as President and Chief Financial Officer, Kinam Kim as Chairman of Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, KS Choi as President and Head of North America Office for SET Division, and Inyup Kang as President and Head of North America Office for DS Division .

Aside from references to boosting innovation, details are thin on the ground with regard to what the changes in leadership and structure mean in terms of Samsung’s grand strategy. Indeed it’s not even clear what acronym SET stands for.

The explanation could be related to the fact that the way Samsung makes its money has been changing the last few years. As Reuters points out its profit contribution from the mobile division shrank to 21% last quarter from nearly 70% in the early 2010s, whilst its component business has become the most profitable.

This follows the announcement last month that Samsung will build a new semiconductor manufacturing facility in Texas, representing the firm’s largest US investment at an estimated $17 billion. The site is scheduled to be operational by the second half of 2024. Meanwhile the firm enjoyed its highest ever quarterly revenue in Q3 this year thanks in no small part to the continuous high demand for semiconductors, and especially memory products.

It could be that the move is designed to streamline corporate structure and focus on this semi-conductor growth. It’s not clear exactly how merging consumer electronics and mobile into one division plays into that, but since details on anything beyond the new job roles are threadbare, we’re forced to blindly speculate until more information is provided.

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