Samsung is looking long and hard at its top executive team with changes in mind, the Wall Street Journal reports, following Galaxy S5 devices sales that have underperformed company expectations by as much as 40 percent. The total sales for the S5, this year’s Samsung flagship device, are at around 12 million, compared to 16 million for the Galaxy S4.
As a result of the lacklustre performance, Samsung is said to be looking at stripping co-CEO and mobile leader J.K. Shin of his chief executive title, and putting him solely in charge of the mobile unit. Overarching mobile wing supervision would then fall to co-CEO B.K. Soon, who currently heads up Samsung’s home appliance and TV business, which continues to be a strong area for the Korean company.
A more unified management team could help bring together the various elements of Samsung’s business, including its recent SmartThings acquisition with its Galaxy line of devices. And while Samsung would indeed be simplifying its executive team, it wouldn’t be streamlining things entirely – a third co-CEO, Kwon Oh-hyon, who overseas the company’s semiconductor and display panel supply businesses, would reportedly remain where he is.
Samsung is said to still be selling strong in the U.S., but other key markets, including China, are seeing negative growth in new device sales. The firm needs to do something to shake up its mobile business – despite the fact that it’s still a market leader, short-term growth is trending downwards and mid- to long-term performance has seen stagnating sales at best.
Part of Samsung’s answer to this problem will reportedly be paring back its Galaxy line to simplify costs and choices for consumers. Diversification of its offerings to suit different sub-groups of market segments has helped Samsung grow its business in the past, but at this point, its ever-expanding lineup of devices could be doing more damage than good in terms of diluting the Galaxy brand overall, and leaving consumers unsure of where to look in choosing their next hardware upgrade.