Friday, September 17, 2010, 05:00 pm PT (08:00 pm ET)
LG Electronics CEO resigns after smartphone strugglesAfter struggling to compete with the iPhone and other high-end smartphones, LG Electronics chief executive Nam Yong resigned Friday.
Yong is the latest in a series of mobile executives that have resigned or been ousted after lackluster sales in the smartphone market. In the course of a week, Nokia's CEO, Chairman, and smartphone chief all announced their resignations.
Bon-joon Koo, "a member of the founding family of the broader LG conglomerate," will replace Yong as CEO, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. Koo is currently CEO of LG International and was previously an executive at LG Display.
Smartphones are being blamed for the recent corporate turnover and shaky quarters. "Numerous makers, including Nokia and LG have attributed declines in profit margins to pressure by other smartphone makers such as Apple Inc. and Research in Motion," the report noted.
Although Nokia and LG are ranked number one and number three in global handset shipments respectively, they have, for the most part, been shipping budget low-margin handsets, rather than pricier offerings that can compete with the iPhone or BlackBerry.
In August, Research firm Gartner called LG's strategy "risky." After analyzing second quarter data, Gartner noted that LG's average selling price fell 27.7 percent even as handset sales fell year-over-year.
Recent data from comScore revealed that LG managed to hold on to its second-place ranking of mobile OEMs in the U.S., but the Korea-based company was missing from the list of "Top Smartphone Platforms."
LG launched its first global smartphone this week: the Android-based Optimus One, but the news is too little, too late for Yong.
The company is also trying to make up for lost time in tablet market, where the iPad has taken an early lead. Last month, LG vice president Chang Ma proclaimed the company's upcoming Optimus tablet as "better than the iPad."
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