Samsung Electronics Merges Consumer Electronics and Mobile Divisions, Reshuffles Business Heads

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Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics was named co-CEO of Samsung Electronics and will lead the chip and components division

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics has announced that it will be merging its mobile and consumer electronics divisions, for which it has also named new co-CEOs to simplify its structure and focus on growing its logic chip business.

The head of visual display business, Han Jong-hee, was promoted to vice chairman and co-CEO, and will lead the newly merged division spanning mobile and consumer electronics as well as continuing to lead the TV business. Han has risen through the ranks in Samsung’s visual display business, without experience in mobile.

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Kyung Kye-hyun, CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics was named co-CEO of Samsung Electronics and will lead the chip and components division.

The newly merged businesses differ in size. The mobile business reported 3.36 trillion won ($2.84 billion) in operating profit in the July-September quarter, compared to consumer electronics’ 760 billion won.

The sweeping move is the latest sign of centralised change at the world’s largest memory chip and smartphone maker, after Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee was paroled in August from a bribery conviction.

Other high-profile promotions included naming as vice chairman Chung Hyun-ho, the head of a “task force” which analysts said is a central coordination unit for decision-making in Samsung Electronics and affiliate companies.

Samsung Group is focusing on areas such as semiconductors, artificial intelligence, robotics and biopharmaceuticals, and plans to invest 240 trillion won ($206 billion) in these fields in the next three years.

Group flagship Samsung Electronics is aiming to overtake TSMC to become No. 1 in chip contract manufacturing by 2030 by investing about $150 billion into logic chip businesses including foundries.

Late last month, Samsung chose Taylor, Texas as the site of a planned $17 billion U.S. chip plant after months of deliberation, coinciding with Lee’s first business trip to the United States in five years.

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