It was impossible to miss out on Samsung during the past 12 months, whether it was X Factor contestants using its devices on the reality TV show or its ubiquity during the Olympics. Samsung went from strength to strength and impressed the UK business with its ability to go toe to toe with Apple. Its UK head Simon Stanford was at the centre of this strategy and he continued to receive plaudits from operators, retailers and rivals alike.
One trade figure was one of many effusive about Stanford’s achievements and said: ‘He has huge responsibility and has a lot of respect in the industry. Even if you take the handsets out of the picture and look at it from a UK operations perspective, it is a stand-out. He has an open approach and a belief Samsung is part of the wider ecosystem, not above it. He’s someone who is willing to trial things, like the store within store at Phones 4u.’
Under Stanford’s leadership, Samsung has signed an array of partnerships. Aside from X Factor, Harlequins rugby team is using the Galaxy Note II and Samsung is a high profile sponsor of Robbie Williams’ latest tour.
Trade figures said Stanford, a tireless workaholic with a close involvement on handset launches, has been crucial at driving Samsung’s business because his network background means the manufacturer will not let its success go to its head. One said: ‘We’re hopeful it won’t turn into Apple. It’s not Simon’s style.’