Samsung Nabs Designer Who Used To Run Jony Ive's Old Design Firm

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Samsung new design head Lee Don-tae

Samsung has found a new design leader and he comes from a familiar spot: Tangerine, the design firm founded by Apple's senior VP of design, Jony Ive.

According to JoongAng Daily, Samsung has hired Lee Don-tae, who used to be co-president of Tangerine, as its new global design team leader.

Lee started his new job earlier this month, the report says, and is expected to be in charge of the designs of all of its consumer products, including the Galaxy smartphones.

Lee, a graduate of the Royal College of Art in London, first joined Tangerine in 1998 and was named president in 2005. He's best known for coming up with British Airways' "Club World" seating that has a unique S-shaped arrangement . Lee is also a design professor at a local college in South Korea.

Samsung has been in a tough spot lately getting squeezed by both Apple and Xiaomi in the global smartphone market. It saw profits drop 37% for the holiday quarter 2014.

This year, Samsung is reported to be taking a new approach to mobile design, adding metal and curved screens to its flagship phones, Galaxy S6 and Note Edge, respectively. It's also apparently working on a smart watch with a round face , which may be unveiled at Mobile World Congress next month.

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