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LG revamps mobile division after weak sales of G5

LG Electronics has revamped its troubled mobile business division in a desperate effort to restore slowing profits after continuing failures of its flagship G phones, including the latest G5.

According to the company on July 1, a new position, called “product management officer,” has been set up under president and CEO Cho Ju-no with aims to pour resources into developing premium smartphones. 

LG CEO and mobile chief Cho Ju-no(Yonhap)
LG CEO and mobile chief Cho Ju-no(Yonhap)

Two PMOs were announced on the day: Oh Hyeong-hoon, former head of the division’s R&D center, and Ha Jeong-wook, former head of the preceding product lab, are to take charge of the company’s G and V lineups, respectively.

They will oversee the whole process of each lineup ranging from product planning and development to marketing and sales activities overseas.

Other marketing and sales teams will be reduced or integrated into the appliance business division’s domestic sales team, the company said.

The structural revamp comes as the latest G5 is expected to see an operating loss of 100 billion won (US$87 million) in the second quarter alone.

Despite its highly publicized debut in March, the G5, the industry’s first modular smartphone that allows users to upgrade camera and audio functions, is estimated to have sold some 50 million units since the launch, which compared to the company’s original sales target of 120 million units.

Since having launched the first G model in 2012, LG have been seeking ways to increase its foothold in the premium segment, largely dominated by tech giants Samsung Electronics and Apple. LG also rolled out the first V lineup model, V10, in a bid to attract consumers with premium features and a reasonable price tag.

Along with the establishment of the new division, the company said it also has decided to replace top executives of the MC unit to bring a fresh breath of air to the mobile business unit and combine scattered business divisions.

“The latest shuffling and restructuring are aimed at refreshing the atmosphere of the company,” a public relations officer from LG said.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heradlcorp.com)

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