Samsung combines U.S. mobile and consumer electronics units

Samsung Electronics plans to combine its two U.S. sales units into one in order to more efficiently address the market. The shakeup is part of a broader reorganization, especially for the company's mobile business.

Samsung Electronics America, which sells consumer electronics in the U.S., and Samsung Telecommunications America, which is the company's U.S. mobile unit, will be combined into a single organization. Samsung said that similar functions within both units will merge, while resources will be reallocated to improve the company's competitiveness in the U.S.

Meanwhile, at its headquarters in South Korea, Samsung said its Media Solution Center, which has been developing applications and software for the company's Galaxy smartphones, will be shuttered and integrated into other parts of the company, including the mobile unit, to speed up decision-making. However, Samsung said the Media Solution Center's Silicon Valley-based division, known as Media Solution Center America, will continue to focus on developing new services.

A report in the Wall Street Journal last month indicated that Samsung was looking to merge the two U.S. units. The shift comes as Samsung works to cut the number of smartphone models it introduces next year. (However, Samsung has retained J.K. Shin as the head of the company's important mobile division.)

According to the Journal, which cited an unnamed source, last week the Media Solution Center lost nearly half of its roughly 15 executives in an annual reshuffle of Samsung's senior management, with President Hong Won-pyo reassigned to lead the company's global marketing-strategy office, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Samsung also named Kim Seok-pil, who had led the global marketing-strategy office, as the head of strategic marketing for the mobile business. He succeeds D.J. Lee, who had been a key lieutenant of Shin and who reportedly left the company earlier this month.

In the U.S., according to Re/code, Tim Baxter has been named president and COO of the new, integrated Samsung Electronics America, while Gregory Lee will remain as president and CEO of the company's North American operations. A Samsung representative declined comment to Re/code on whether any executives changed responsibilities as part of the changes.

For more:
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
- see this Re/code article
- see this ZDNet article

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