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LG Electronics creates new convergence, B2B units

Executive vice president rises to lead smartphone business for the first time

LG Electronics on Thursday announced the launch of a new business-to-business unit and a convergence business development center as part of an organization reshuffle for 2018.

To accelerate preparations for future businesses, LG established the Convergence Business Development Center with the goal of planning the development of new technologies such as artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things and device-to-device connectivity solutions.

The new entity can be compared to Samsung Research, which was renewed earlier in November as part of Samsung Electronics’ organizational restructuring for new technologies and solutions that are commonly applied to products of different categories.

“Rather than immediately producing something tangible, the new center is assigned to identify and embark on corporate-wide initiatives related to artificial intelligence, IoT solutions and device-to-device connectivity,” an official at LG Electronics said.

The company also set up the B2B Co., which will oversee existing business-to-business product sales including energy, information displays and vertical solutions.

An OLED signage display shows LG's logo. (LG Electronics)
An OLED signage display shows LG's logo. (LG Electronics)

Along with the organizational change, LG announced three new executives. 

Kwon Bong-seok, current executive vice president of Home Entertainment Co., was promoted to president of the home entertainment unit in recognition of his contribution to the company’s achievements in organic-light emitting diode TVs this year.

Kwon Soon-hwang, executive vice president of Information Display Co., was named president of the new B2B Co.

Park Il-pyung, head of LG’s Software Center, will take on the role of chief technology officer.

Before joining LG, Park was chief technology officer at Harman International and head of the Intelligent Computing Lab at Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology.

Hwang Jeong-hwan was named executive vice president of Mobile Communications Co. in charge of the smartphone business.

It is the first time LG has promoted an executive vice president to head the smartphone business.

Former Mobile Communications Co. President Juno Cho was assigned to head LG Group’s training center for human resources, which was viewed by the industry as punishment for the company’s sluggish handset business.

Hwang, who has years of experience in R&D, was closely involved in developing one of LG’s first smartphones in 2009 as head of the CTO’s Multimedia R&D Lab. Hwang will also head the new convergence center.

Including the three new presidents and eight vice presidents, the tech giant promoted a total of 67 executives based on their performances, the largest scale promotion, according to the company.

LG Corp., the holding company of LG Electronics and other affiliates, also announced the promotion of CEO Ha Hyun-hwoi as the group’s vice chairman.

“Ha was recognized for playing a crucial role in improving performances of major affiliates through synergy,” the group said.

Ha led LG’s first launch of OLED TVs in 2014.

Some industry watchers had highlighted the possible promotion of LG’s heir apparent Koo Kwang-mo, from vice president to senior vice president, but he was not included in the latest reshuffle.

Instead, Koo was newly assigned to lead the information display division under the new B2B Co.

The new presidents of LG Chem and LG Display, the group’s most competitive affiliates, were also announced Thursday.

Ro Ki-su, executive vice president of the material business at LG Chem, was promoted to president of corporate R&D for achieving stability in the material business.

Hwang Yong-kee, executive vice president of the TV business at LG Display, was promoted to president.

President of Home Entertainment Company Kwon Bong-seok (LG Electronics)
President of Home Entertainment Company Kwon Bong-seok (LG Electronics)

President of B2B Company Kwon Soon-hwang (LG Electronics)
President of B2B Company Kwon Soon-hwang (LG Electronics)


Chief Technology Officer Park Il-pyung (LG Electronics)
Chief Technology Officer Park Il-pyung (LG Electronics)

By Song Su-hyun (song@heraldcorp.com)
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