4/14/2010 12:04:00 PM
Big shoes to fill at Samsung UK
Mark Mitchinson is one of the UK mobile industry’s remaining ‘big’ characters and it seems unlikely anyone will fill exactly the same role in the UK at Samsung.
His departure reflects the increasing corporate face among manufacturers and the mobile industry in general, as many of the UK industry’s larger than life characters have moved on or retired.
Mitchinson was very unusual in that he had the ear of the Korean management at Samsung. Few non-Koreans have the stature to influence decision making at Korean companies, but Mitchinson did have that authority. Unusually, he was able to influence the choice and names of handsets for the UK market. Insiders say it will be impossible to recruit someone else with the same kind of clout.
Mitchinson had carved out a bigger role for himself to become Samsung’s Mobile UK and Ireland vice president. His remit extended beyond just mobile phones to include some of Samsung’s electronic products.
Insiders say the role took him further up the management chain and away from the day to day operations which often involved trips overseas. To compensate, Mitchinson created a structure in the UK to enable the business to run smoothly when he was away, headed up by a marketing director and sales director Simon Stanford.
Samsung has said that it is looking for a replacement for Mitchinson, but it is not clear what shape the role will take yet. It is likely the strategic aspects of Mitchinson’s role will be divided up. A general manager, possibly from Korea, might be a possibility with day to day operations continuing to be run by Stanford and the marketing director.