Samsung appoints Roh Tae-moon as its new smartphone CEO

Steve Dent
Associate Editor
Samsung Electronics

Samsung Electronics has named Roh Tae-moon CEO of its key smartphone division, according to Bloomberg. He'll take over the position from DJ Koh, who will continue to head up Samsung's IT and mobile and communication arms. Roh is Samsung's third CEO in the last dozen years, as Koh was appointed in 2015 while Koh's predecessor JK Shin held the job for around six years.

Roh, who came on board with Samsung in 1997, helped develop the Galaxy device lineup and is supposedly a stickler for engineering and design. He'll reportedly try to bolster Samsung's reputation for quality after it stumbled over the past few years. Under Koh, Samsung was forced to kill the flammable Galaxy Note 7 and had to delay the Galaxy Fold due to issues with the display.

Roh's primary goals will be to shepherd foldable products into the mainstream and help Samsung expand in China and India. Roh is also known as a cost-cutter who outsourced smartphone production to better compete with aggressive Chinese rivals like Huawei, Xiaomi and Oppo. He'll be getting to work right away, as Samsung should be unveiling its new Galaxy S20 flagship series and possibly a second-generation foldable device at a February 11th event in San Francisco.