Jim Michel is quitting as LG UK head of mobile, signalling a major management crisis.
Sources say Michel quit after LG chiefs in Korea failed to deliver on promises of greater autonomy for the UK office, following a major reshuffle earlier this year.
Michel had become increasingly frustrated by the iron grip of LG’s Korean HQ on the UK division, sources claim.
Michel had hoped the reshuffle in February would bring greater freedom and accountability to the UK division, which he believed was vital in order for LG to regain UK market share.
The reshuffle saw Michel promoted to LG UK mobile chief and given direct responsibility for the mobile unit’s marketing and supply chains, which previously reported into LG Electronics.
Michel was hopeful that the move would also see the mobile unit run as a standalone business and the division given greater freedom to tailor-make marketing campaigns and routes to market.
However, the reshuffle failed to deliver Michel’s expectations, say sources, prompting him to quit just over two years after arriving from his former post as head of Motorola UK.
Sources claim Michel will leave LG this month and take up a new post in October.
One commented: ‘LG headquarters has yet to fully understand the UK market - how dynamic it is and how it changes all the time, and how, if you don’t keep up with that changing market, it can be very unforgiving.’
Another added: ‘The UK market dictates what happens across Europe. The trick is to get that local perspective and so far LG HQ does not understand that enough.’
Another source said: ‘Jim fought hard for change at LG, but without greater freedom from Seoul he had no hope of repositioning LG in the UK. He is a great guy. Whoever follows will have big boots to fill.’
LG launched a fightback this year with a number of new devices, including its flagship LG Optimus 3D smartphone. However, sales of the handset have been disappointing so far, according to analysts.
An LG spokesperson said: 'We can confirm that Jim Michel, UK general manager of LG Mobile, has accepted a new position and will be leaving LG later this year. We’d like to thank Jim for his dedication and contribution to the LG Mobile business over the past two years and we wish him the best in his new venture.
'The recent launch of the Optimus 3D is evidence of LG’s commitment to delivering the most innovative products and producing stand-out campaigns that connect with our customers. LG Electronics continually strives to improve our services and offerings within the UK market and sustaining our position as a global leader and technology innovator.'