Samsung co-CEO and mobile head J.K. Shin may lose his role in the company, as the smartphone manufacturer wants to reverse its fortunes after a difficult year, people familiar with the matter have told the Wall Street Journal.
The South Korean manufacturer has three co-CEOs as of 2013: Shin – responsible for the mobile phone and tablets divisions; B.K. Yoon, in charge of the television, refrigerator, and home appliance divisions; and Kwon Oh-Hyun, leading Samsung’s semiconductor and display panel businesses.
The current chairman’s only son, Jay Y. Lee, currently has the Vice Chairman position in the company.
Looking back to this year, there are some notable missteps Samsung made under Shin’s lead: It produced about 20% more devices than it did with the S4. Sources say they based their numbers on a survey of their carrier partners around the world, which, by the way, “weren’t on the hook for any unsold devices”, so this led to excess supply, and Samsung was forced to increase marketing expenses in order to unload the unsold devices.
What’s noteworthy is that it sold 40% fewer S5 devices than projected. In numbers, this means 12 million in the first three months of availability, compared to the 16 million recorded a year ago with the S4, the same sources say, just to mention one major misstep of the many.
As a result, Shin may lose his position as co-CEO. Voices are whispering that Yoon may take over Shin’s duties, allowing Samsung to better streamline its management and fight the rising competition from Chinese smartphone manufacturers.