Samsung Selects New Mobile Design Chief

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Samsung Galaxy S5

Samsung has replaced its chief of mobile design, following last week’s resignation of Chang Dong-hoon.

Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, will take the department reigns, Reuters reported.

The 42-year-old in 2010 became Samsung’s youngest senior executive, due to his work in designing the Galaxy handset series, which has helped the South Korean company dominate the global smartphone space. Now, as Reuters pointed out, Samsung sells twice as many smartphones as Apple.

But the recent launch of its next-generation Galaxy flagship phone did not receive the same warm welcome as its predecessors. The GS5’s all-plastic design—a sticking point for PCMag’s reviewers—was slammed for looking cheap, while the handset’s lack of hardware innovations did little to excite customers.

Samsung did not immediately respond to PCMag’s request for comment.

The electronics giant did, however, confirm that Chang will continue to lead its design center, which oversees overall design strategy.

“The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company’s corporate design center which is responsible for long-term design strategy across all of Samsung’s businesses, including Mobile Communications,” Samsung told Reuters.

Meanwhile, Min-hyouk got his start designing cars for Samsung’s failed 1990s joint auto venture with Renault.

The exec shakeup comes days after Samsung’s GS5 Developer Edition launched on Verizon; the carrier’s 16GB version is now available in charcoal black for $600.

Plus, the manufacturer this week began rolling out the next generation of its Knox enterprise security suite to the flagship phone. Knox 2.0 is a portfolio of products and services designed to “protect device integrity from kernel to apps,” according to Samsung.

For more, see PCMag’s review of the Samsung Galaxy S5, and take a tour of Samsung’s production line in the slideshow above.


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