J.K. Shin, Samsung’s longtime head of mobile (and the boss who oversaw the company’s rise and fall as the Android kingpin), is moving on.
Samsung’s smartphone division hasn’t had a particularly healthy last few years: while it owned the market with the Galaxy S3 and S4, the follow-up phones have failed to captivate the market, resulting in last-ditch attempts to persuade people that curved screens are the future, and an overall loss for the company year-on-year.
Shin is staying on at the company as co-CEO, but losing control of the day-to-day operations of the smartphone division. His successor is D.J. Koh, who has overseen Samsung R&D during projects like its in-house Tizen mobile OS and Samsung Pay.
It’s difficult to say what effect this will have on the products Samsung churns out in the immediate future. Koh was the R&D lead during a period when Samsung transitioned from cheap, plasticky design in the S3 to the much more premium feel of the S5 and S6. Then again, premium feel and a streamlined handset range is a market trend that certainly isn’t exclusive to Samsung.