LG Electronics’ first new mobile boss in three years suggests that the company will likely focus on offering more Internet of Things (IoT) services to leverage its home appliance clout.
The company has named Hwang Jeong-hwan, a researcher who played a key role in developing LG’s earlier smartphones and promoting its OLED TVs, as the new mobile boss.
He has replaced sales and marketing expert Juno Cho, who was at the helm for three years and was behind the modular G5 and creation of the V phablet brand.
Cho focused on new ideas and the G5 was initially well-received; however, sales didn’t back it up and the business saw 10-straight quarters of loss, racking up to near 2 trillion won ($1.8 billion).
The naming of Hwang is a likely indicator that when it comes to handsets, the firm will now firmly focus on the basics and promote its hardware prowess.
The new mobile boss is also the head of the newly formed Convergence Business Development Center, a division directly under the CEO that will focus on connecting smartphones, TVs, and auto-components to make Internet of Things (IoT) services backed by artificial intelligence (AI).
This is a likely indicator that LG will now focus on the basics in smartphone design but placing it more in the context of its IoT business, rather than the flagship business.
Hwang ranks below the firm’s TV and home appliance bosses — another indicator of the subsidiary role the handset business will play.
LG saw record profits in home appliances for the past few years under the leadership of CEO Jo Seong-jin. Jo has since slimmed down the mobile business to be more cost-effective.
In October, the company opened its smart home platform SmartThinQ to developers.