4/23/2009 1:10:00 PM
LG boosts UK division with new boss Ward Crawford
LG has created a new chief operating officer role, appointing the former managing director of the Green and Black’s chocolate brand to give the UK more local power and to make it a stronger brand.
Ward Crawford joins from Cadbury’s Schweppes (which owns Green and Black’s), as LG looks to address criticisms that it is too much of a ‘pure manufacturer’ with insufficient emphasis on brand.
Crawford (pictured) will head up LG’s entire UK division, including the mobile arm, as part of the electronics company’s global realignment.
A strategic decision has been made in Seoul for more ‘non-Korean’ senior appointments in European markets.
The plan is to give power to the UK at an executive level for dealing with senior buyers at operators and retailers.
Crawford will sit above LG Mobile’s sales and marketing director, John Barton, and report to the UK president, Brian Na.
His appointment is the second newly created role at the manufacturer this year. In March, LG appointed former Sony Ericsson sales director Christine Howard in the new role of sales director for networks.
One senior operator buyer said: ‘We get flown to Korea a couple of times
a year, and it’s just not enough for either party. This is a very big and important step for LG.’
The appointment comes as LG’s mobile division reported a global 16.8% increase in revenues to £2.1bn for the first three months of 2009 compared with the same quarter in the previous year, but profits for the wider group sank by 25%.
The manufacturer said it expects to return to growth in Q2, but predicted a 10% decline in sales this year due to global contraction of the handset market.
LG is also understood to have had a record month in the UK, with the most recent weekly share reaching around 17%, according to sources.
Senior LG executives believe more growth could be reached by the UK mobile division, with share levels of LG handsets below 5% at Vodafone and 3.
The problems at Sony Ericsson and Motorola have combined to make LG the number three manufacturer globally behind Nokia and Samsung.