Samsung appointed a new mobile boss as it faces 'peak smartphone' and competition from all sides

Samsung Galaxy Note 10

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

Roh is highly thought of within Samsung for his work establishing the Galaxy Note series.

  • Samsung has appointed a new smartphone chief, Roh Tae-moon.
  • Roh, who's been at Samsung since the late 1990s, previously served as head of research for the firm's mobile business.
  • Samsung maintains its lead as the world's biggest smartphone maker, but faces continued competition from rivals such as Huawei, and an overall slowdown in phone sales.
  • Business Insider has approached Samsung for comment.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Samsung has appointed a new smartphone boss as it looks to retain its crown as the world's number one smartphone supplier, according to Bloomberg.

In the company's annual exec reshuffle, Roh Tae-moon was promoted from head of research for Samsung's mobile business to the head of its entire smartphone operations.

Meanwhile, the company's three joint CEOs - Kim Ki-nam, vice chairman and CEO of its semiconductor business; Kim Hyun-Suk, CEO of its consumer electronics business; and DJ Koh, CEO of its mobile business - have all retained their leadership roles.

Roh - a mobile industry veteran who's been at the company since 1997 - had already been promoted in 2019 after his solid work establishing Samsung's Galaxy Note series. He's also known as an aggressive cost-cutter who's willing to outsource handset production to compete with cheaper rivals like Huawei.

Bloomberg says Roh is viewed internally as a detail-oriented "engineering maven."

The Korean tech giant has promoted Roh at a time of stiff competition from Huawei, and cheap Chinese rivals like Oppo. Samsung remains the world's biggest smartphone maker and has managed to grow it share of the market, but overall there's greater competition from firms like Huawei and there is fear of "peak smartphone" as demand weakens.

According to US market research firm Gartner, Samsung sold more smartphones worldwide in the third quarter of 2019 than any other firm with more than 20% of the market.

Its nearest rival was Huawei with 17%, followed by Apple, with 10.5%. Oppo, a lower-end firm that caters heavily to Chinese consumers, accounted for 8%.

Business Insider has approached Samsung for comment.

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