Analysts see Samsung replacing its smartphone chief J.K. Shin this week

Analysts see Samsung replacing its smartphone chief J.K. Shin this week
Samsung's mobile phone division has not been raking in the cash lately, and that could be a problem for its leader, J.K. Shin. The executive became the top man on the mobile totem pole in 2011, guiding the company to the number one spot in global smartphone market share. Since Shin took over, the number of smartphones shipped by Sammy has soared from 94.2 million to 2014's 318.2 million. Revenue more than doubled to 111.8 trillion won last year.

The problems start with the bottom line, which peaked in 2013 at $25 trillion won. That was triple the bottom line figure that Samsung had in 2011 when Shin took over. But this year, analysts expect the division' profits to decline 8.2% to the lowest amount since 2011. This will be the third straight year that the division has reported lower profits, leaving the division's top executive vulnerable. Last year, Shin survived to keep his spot at the top of Samsung's mobile division, but that doesn't appear to be likely this year.

The decision about whether to fire Shin, or move him somewhere else within the company will be made by Samsung Group Vice Chairman Lee Jae Yong. The heir took over control of Samsung last year after his father, Lee Kun Hee, suffered a heart attack. While his father remains alive, the younger Lee cannot be named chairman of the company based on South Korean tradition. But he is expected to eventually get the Chairman title.

Some in the industry expect Samsung to replace Shin with a younger executive, who might be better suited to fix the problem with Samsung's phone division. The thought is that the diversified manufacturer succeeded in revamping its flagship phone, but needs to make some tweaks when it comes to software.


Samsung will conduct the annual review of its executives later this week. Those who are considered to be failing are usually shifted to another division inside the company.

source: Bloomberg

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43 Comments

37. pendragon0202

Posts: 164; Member since: Feb 23, 2015

Update on this. Mr J K Shin will remain as the President of Samsung IM division, however the dual position he had - the head of IM operations will now belong to Mr. Dong Jin Ko. It is a very political way of pushing the old regime out and giveaway for a new boss. So I will say in reality, there was a regime change in the handset division and Mr. J K Shin is no longer on the front line. Mr. Ko, the new boss is an Industrial engineer and he had completed his master's degree at the University of Sussex (UK). There are many other promotions announced in different positions yesterday, emphasizing on infusion young blood.

33. willywanta

Posts: 503; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

it's about time. Thank you JK for your hard work. You can retire now.

32. wilky

Posts: 41; Member since: Jun 30, 2014

The S7 only needs a few things to be successful again. Over 3000mAh battery & removable back cover, ditch the glass back & go back to plastic Micro SD 32GB base Water or at least weather resistant. Front facing stereo speakers Regular updates, rather than having to wait months. Stock android out of the box, but make Touchwiz a downloadable option along with the camera and other apps so you can install what you wish. Lower the price at launch, Samsung isn't Apple so they need to be in line with what the Chinese are offering their Android flagship phones at.

36. willywanta

Posts: 503; Member since: Jun 04, 2014

it's been a puzzle for me for long time. Why iPhone can get better battery life with such a little battery and android phones need bigger battery to achieve the same battery life? 1. No, samsung don't need 3000 mAh battery. Optimise the ui. 2. Going back to plastic? Hell no! Unless samsung release a flexible s7. 3. Stock android? Again, no deal. Touchwiz is samsung's identity even before samsung made android phones. The only thing touchwiz needs is refinement.

31. RoryBreaker

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 11, 2015

Enough Touch Wiz bashing already! It's not bad as these blogs will have you believe, it's like a bunch of parrots just copying what they heard someone say! I actually like Touch Wiz & have NO interest in stock Android. The real problem here is that other phone makers have closed the gap with the bigger companies in regards to quality & specs. Look at what OnePlus has been able to do in the last couple of years. If you are in the U.S. you can go to Target & get a BLU phone (which is a pretty ok phone) for $100. It's hard to compete with that & keep the profits up. When the marketplace has changed how much it has in the last couple of years, expectations must change!

30. Taters

Posts: 6474; Member since: Jan 28, 2013

I don't think it really matters who takes over. It's Samsung's manufacturing prowess that makes their phones the best anyways.

25. miketer

Posts: 551; Member since: Apr 02, 2015

Already turned into reality, dongchin kho is the new captain.

21. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

I'm looking more forward to Samsungs 2016, then anyone's. I can't wait to see what they do to top this year. I'm curious about the iPhone 7 as well, but Apple's not taking the big risks right now.

14. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2127; Member since: May 29, 2014

13. BobbyDigital

Posts: 2127; Member since: May 29, 2014

Well... They did just announce that Dongjin Koh is taking over as President of the handset business from J.K. Shin. Shin will remain overall head of the mobile division though. Koh is taking over day-to-day operations.

11. Martineverest

Posts: 521; Member since: Oct 27, 2015

That won't stop them from crashing.. They should better join surface-clone bandwagon before its too late

27. hwb01

Posts: 355; Member since: Apr 17, 2014

Galaxy Note Pro Google it.

42. iushnt

Posts: 3191; Member since: Feb 06, 2013

Did you google in response to post 27?

9. ameran

Posts: 344; Member since: Dec 04, 2013

I think this is a good move.

8. Tziggy14

Posts: 629; Member since: Sep 02, 2014

I can't pronounce any of these Samsung leaders' names. lol

5. GreekGeek

Posts: 1276; Member since: Mar 22, 2014

SAMSUNG shouldn't be making 32GB variants on their flagships anymore.

15. PapaSmurf

Posts: 10457; Member since: May 14, 2012

... What? 32GB is fine. 16GB is a problem.

4. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Continue to refine TouchWiz, it's come a long way and oh so innovative. Making it lighter, and better optimized has been great.

10. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Rumour says Google will help em, if that means it become more like stock and less like touchwiz then it's not touchwiz naymore. I like touchwiz and it's more refine this year (though it still has some issue), simplified touchwiz isn't bad but don't remove all useful feature. Touchwiz is touchwiz they are unique in their own way.

12. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

As long as Google doesn't make it too ios like, I'm good. TouchWiz is the best and most innovative skin out there.

16. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

Yup i tried HTC sense last year since many praised them because it's fluid and more like stock & now i'm stuck with it... Sense is boring and i miss multiwindow so much it has some lag anyway, guess no device is lag free.

17. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

You're right, no device is lag free. I don't go into a purchase thinking of a lag free experience. My Note lags, my iPhone lags, my iPad lags. I've never had a device that didn't, and never will. What I look for, is a consistent performance, and as trouble free as possible. I use multi window all the time, as well as my S-PEN, mostly for smart select. I can't imagine not having a Note anymore. TouchWiz will only get better, as they continue to refine it, while giving it more features. 2016 should be a nice year for tech. Samsung Google, and Apple will be the standouts as usual.

23. DnB925Art

Posts: 1168; Member since: May 23, 2013

Well said and a very fair view that all phones lag/will lag at some point in the future. As long as it's not excessive and constantly happens, it's fine. 2 months in and my Note 5 has been excellent with just a couple of hiccups in these 2 months.

43. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

That's as good a track record, as one could ask for. Mine is along the same lines, Internet stuck a couple times, and that's about it. It had a more glitch free performance than my 6S Plus, and its skinned.

24. Diezparda

Posts: 941; Member since: Oct 23, 2013

I'm using Blackberry phone before Android become popular & my first android device was Galaxy S2 & Note 3 so I never use other android brand except Samsung. The comment section at phonearena often misleading, some people says Samsung lag while iOS, Stock Android, Sense & Xperia device doesn't lag as much as Touchwiz. I have high expectation for them, it makes me want to prove itself but in the end it is untrue. This is why i hate people trolling around or make false impression about a product. Sorry for the long story, let's hope everything meet our expectation next year.

44. darkkjedii

Posts: 31816; Member since: Feb 05, 2011

Bro I've used them all, even had the BB Storm, and I've yet to use a phone that didn't lag. Interestingly enough, the phone I had the least amount of trouble with outside the Note 5, was the Palm Pre. I honestly can't recall any issues at all with it.

3. DRS1977

Posts: 681; Member since: May 27, 2015

Samsung just doesn't get it. Get rid of Touchwiz and keep Samsung Pay and the camera software and make the rest stock Android. That would bring in Nexus people and a lot more.

6. Bjray

Posts: 199; Member since: May 29, 2014

Samsung doesn't care about Nexus market share. But I get what you're saying.

19. Awalker

Posts: 1988; Member since: Aug 15, 2013

It's not about the Nexus market share. A lot of Android websites and Android enthusiasts trash Samsung because of Touchwiz. If they can get more positive coverage they may be able to turn things around. Friends and family come to me from time to time to ask about phones and I never recommend a Samsung device because of Touchwiz. I've probably recommended the iPhone the most even though I'm an Android guy.

26. willard12 unregistered

When Samsung made Google Play Editions of their most popular devices how well did they do?

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