updated 08:15 am EDT, Fri September 17, 2010
LG Elec CEO quits to take blame for phone share
LG Electronics CEO Nam Yong resigned today to take responsibility for poor phone sales. The executive will leave as of October 1 and will be replaced by early company veteran and LG International head Koo Bon-joon. Replacements normally wait until the end of the year, but the company wanted to give Bon-joon time to prepare for the next year, LG said.
Other executives may face departure, and LG's mobile group chief Skott Ahn may be next to face a departure or change of position.
Nam Yong's exit came after the company not only lost nearly two whole points of market share to hit nine percent, according to Gartner estimates, but after the mobile division of the group posted both its worst loss in recent memory for the spring and is expected to repeat a similar performance for the quarter ending this September.
Most of LG's struggle has been to gain relevance in smartphones. A deal with Microsoft that made Windows Mobile the OS of choice for LG proved costly as many ended up avoiding LG's smartphones in favor of the iPhone, BlackBerry phones and later Android. LG ended up backtracking on its policy and switched to making mostly Android phones this year. The fruits of the switch won't come in earnest until after Nam Yong leaves, when the Optimus series ships worldwide.
LG is planning a partial return to Microsoft with Windows Phone 7 devices like the Optimus 7.