Samsung Mobile UK and Ireland VP Mark Mitchinson is leaving the Korean manufacturer after 10 years at the helm, Mobile can exclusively reveal.
The news has sent shock waves across the mobile industry, with many surprised at the news of the veteran’s departure.
It is not known if Mitchinson has a job to go to, with some sources indicating the move was instigated from the company’s Korean parent. However, others suggested it was his decision to leave the company.
But one source said: ‘I wouldn’t be surprised if the Koreans made that decision, as there is such a culture difference between the two countries.’
Mitchinson, who is the longest serving UK manufacturer chief, has had a considerable influence across Europe and in the product roadmap from Samsung. He was also involved in strategic level deals with operators and retailers at the highest level.
He is credited with establishing Samsung as a serious manufacturer in the UK, making the brand more credible and overtaking his former employer, Nokia.
Mitchinson has also forced handset distributors to shape up. Data Select and 20:20 Mobile have both felt the force of his hand.
Mitchinson joined the mobile industry in 1988 when he took on the role of account manager at Nokia-Mobira.
In 1994, he became head of sales at Cellcom, and returned to Nokia as head of sales in 1996.
He then went to Brightpoint as general manager, and in 2001 joined Samsung as head of network operators. He later took on his current VP role.
Samsung said: ‘After ten years with the business Samsung can confirm that Mark Mitchinson has decided to leave the UK mobile organisation. We wish him every success in the future.
‘Samsung will announce the appointment of Mark’s replacement in the near future.’