TIME technology

Samsung Names New Mobile Design Chief

A man is silhouetted against a video screen with Apple and Samsung logos as he poses with a Samsung Galaxy S4 in this photo illustration taken in the central Bosnian town of Zenica
Dado Ruvic / Reuters

The world's biggest handset maker has replaced the head of its mobile design team amid criticism of the latest Galaxy S5 smartphone. Lee Min-hyouk, a Samsung vice president, will take the department reins

Samsung may be taking the design of its flagship Galaxy phones in a new direction. The company has named a new leader for its mobile design unit. Lee Min-hyouk, a Samsung vice president, will now head up the team. The former mobile design chief, Chang Dong-hoon, will “focus on his role as head of the design strategy team,” a Samsung spokesman told The Wall Street Journal.

The Galaxy S5 received mixed reviews when it launched in April, with reporters criticizing its cheap appearance. “As with previous Galaxy S phones, Samsung, unlike Apple, HTC and Nokia, shows no interest in knocking out anybody through the sheer lavishness of its industrial design,” TIME technology writer Harry McCracken wrote at the time. “I wouldn’t go so far as to call it ugly, but it’s a Chevy in a category full of Lexuses, Infinitis and Acuras.”

Samsung has said that the Galaxy S5 sold better than the Galaxy S4 in its opening weekend but has not disclosed any specific sales numbers. The company has faced declining profits in its last two financial quarters and is looking to the Galaxy S5 to reverse its fortunes.


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