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Samsung’s mobile head keeps job in reshuffle

JK Shin to stay on as Chairman Lee’s heir-apparent plays it safe

Samsung’s mobile head keeps job in reshuffle
Safe for now: JK Shin is credited with the emergence of Samsung as a force and eventual leader in the global smartphone market.

Samsung Group’s de-facto boss Jay Y Lee chose to keep JK Shin, co-chief executive of the Electronics unit's mobile division, despite rumours Shin would be out of a job as part of the company’s annual reshuffle.

Samsung Electronics’ grip on the smartphone industry has slipped in the past year, as pressure from Chinese rivals has eroded profitability and market share. Insiders at the South Korean conglomerate earlier this week said they expected sweeping changes at the top.

Head of Semiconductors, Kwon Oh-hyun, and Consumer Electronics boss, Yoon Boo-keun, will also stay on in their present roles, according to Reuters.

Jay Y Lee is the only son and likely successor of group chairman Lee Kun-hee, who remains hospitalised after a heart attack in May. Analysts believe the younger Lee is playing it safe in retaining senior managers. Shin, in particular, is credited with Samsung’s emergence as a force and eventual leader in the handsets arena.

"With Samsung undergoing major changes in the midst of the succession process, like selling affiliates and listing units, it would have been too unsettling to change leadership," Reuters quoted Chung Sun-sup, head of South Korean research firm Chaebul.com, as saying.

"And without a signal that chairman, Lee Kun-hee, has stepped back for good, it might have been too much for vice chairman, Jay Y Lee, to change the people his father put in position."

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