Samsung shakes up leadership, merges mobile and consumer divisions

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Three of Samsung's business unit heads have been replaced in a surprise move, and two new co-CEOs will oversee the company's components division, and its newly combined mobile and consumer electronics one.

Samsung has gone four years without changing CEOs, possibly in part because of the jailing of Lee Jae-yong over bribery charges. The firm's de facto leader is reportedly required to sign off on all major decisions, and he was released on parole in August.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Samsung has now consolidated the leadership of its individual units. Previously, Samsung split its company into three divisions in order to avoid conflicts of interest as it sold components to Apple and other rivals.

Now that component business is to remain, with Samsung veteran Kyung Kye-hyun, taking over. The other two divisions, concentrating on Mobile such as smartphones, and Consumer Electronics including TVs, are to merge.

Han Jong-hee, previously of Samsung's television business, is to run the new joint devision.

The Wall Street Journal says that the move reflects the importance of each division to the business. Reportedly, it is the component or semiconductor element that is now most profitable for Samsung.

Separately, Samsung has recently announced that it will make its largest investment in semiconductor production in the US. It is to build a new facility in Texas, costing an estimated $17 billion.