Samsung’s Struggling Mobile Business Has A New Leader

As its smartphone sales continue to lag behind competitors, Samsung Electronics announced today that it will reshuffle the leadership of its mobile division. J.K. Shin will no longer be in control of its day-to-day operations and instead hand that responsibility over to Dongjin Koh.

Before the change, Shin held the double-barreled title of head and president of Samsung Electronics’ mobile business. The president title has been given to Koh, who helmed the development of the well-received Galaxy S6 and Galaxy Note 5 series while serving as head of Samsung Electronics’ mobile research and development department. Shin will stay on as head of mobile, which means he will focus on long-term strategy and potential growth opportunities, says Reuters.

Over the last two years, Samsung has lost its edge in worldwide smartphone sales. In China, an important growth market for manufacturers, sales of Samsung handsets are falling behind Apple, Xiaomi, and Huawei.

Koh’s new appointment is part of a larger management change that started after Lee Jae Yong, the vice chairman of Samsung Group, began to assume more responsibilities after his father, Samsung Group chairman Lee Kun Hee, had a heart attack last year. In July, the younger Lee won a shareholder vote approving the $8 billion merger of two Samsung affiliate companies, Cheil Industries and Samsung C&T, which in turn gave him more power over Samsung Electronics.

Samsung usually moves executives around to new positions once a year, based on their performance, but this is the first time Lee Jae Yong has made significant changes since taking the helms from his father.