2011 Agent Provocateurs
The sheer force of his personality and unforgiving focus on protecting his business at Samsung means that Mitchinson has his detractors in the industry, but it is difficult to think of an individual who has achieved as much at a mobile manufacturer than Mitch. Knocking Nokia off its perch during his stint at Samsung was a phenomenal achievement. He is back again, and with a similar mission: to take a hungry, well resourced Chinese company, huge in its home market but not a powerful brand overseas, and launch it into the A-league of mobile handset brands in the UK. Simply taking the job at Huawei has caused ructions in the industry and elevated Huawei's threat level in the UK market. Mitchinson is streetwise, shrewd and well respected. And although there are major differences between Korean and Chinese corporate culture, he is well versed in dealing with senior management in the Far East. His ability to disrupt incumbents speaks for itself, and his appointment has inevitably sent shockwaves through the likes of LG, Sony Ericsson and his former employer Samsung.
2010 Mobile Awards
Lifetime achievement award.
Through a shrewdly crafted strategy by Mitchinson at the start of 2008, Samsung has achieved the unthinkable; it has taken the UK pole position from Nokia. He became the first non-Korean VP at Samsung with a promotion last year, which has given him new powers, and recognition of his clout in the organisation and the industry. This has been best demonstrated with Mitchinson leading the design on products such as the G600, and having responsibility for the Tocco name.The idea of a country head having such autonomy at a manufacturer is unheard of, especially in the reputed centralised Korean firms.
‘Marathon Mitch’ is one of the most well-known characters in the UK mobile industry. He has stamped his personality firmly on the company, and assembled a team that is well respected and is second to none for slick product launches. Mitchinson’s opinions also carry weight within Samsung, influencing the choice and positioning of products for the UK and Europe. He has been a force to reckon with in distribution, where he has locked horns with major players such as Carphone Warehouse, Data Select and – most recently – 20:20. He has a profile in the media and when he speaks industry colleagues take notice.