Kwon Oh-hyun, who was vice chairman of the company’s components division and helped grow its chip and display panel businesses, will now head up the company’s wider corporate affairs in the CEO role. Kwon will also continue to oversee the components business.
He replaces Choi Gee-sung, who has helped Samsung become the global market leader in mobile phones and televisions. He will become head of corporate strategy at parent company Samsung Group and will focus on discovering future areas of growth.
Samsung says in a statement: “Mr Choi is the best candidate who can chart Samsung through the global economic crisis and ever-intensifying competition. Under Mr Choi, Samsung plans to pursue innovative change.”
The CEO’s role has been scaled back, with the leaders of Samsung’s TV and phone divisions reporting into chairman Lee Kun-hee, while the components business will be run separately.
Samsung is attempting to separate out the components and consumer divisions to manage the conflicts of interest that have arisen due to its customers also being rivals in the TV, mobile phone and consumer electronics sectors.
Apple, which is the biggest customer of its displays and chips, sued Samsung last year, claiming it had copied the designs of its iPhone and iPad.
Samsung is currently in the middle of its largest ever marketing campaign for its new smartphone the Galaxy S3, which launched in the UK in May.
The company posted a record profit of 5.85 trillion won (£3.2bn), up 98% year on year in its first quarter to 31 March, driven by an increase in profitability in display panels and mobile phones – particularly Galaxy devices. Consolidated revenues were up 22% to 45.27 trillion won (£24.9bn).