According to a Reuters report, Samsung’s head of mobile design, Chang Dong-hoon, has stepped down from this position. According to the report, the move is a result of widespread criticism for the Galaxy S5.1 This seems a bit odd, as the latest sales figures for the Galaxy S5 have been incredible. According to a Samsung spokesperson, Chang Dong-hoon will be replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, the vice president for mobile design. The move is more of a shuffle, as Chang Dong-hoon will remain with the company.
The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company’s corporate design center which is responsible for long-term design strategy across all of Samsung’s businesses, including Mobile Communications
Further, according to a Forbes article, this is into a broader design role. Chang, “who has played a role at the company similar to that of Jony Ive on Apple’s iPhone team, would be shifting to a higher-level design role that focuses on design strategy across the myriad products that the company produces, from televisions to home appliances and other devices.”2 While there have been some lackluster reviews of the device here and there, by all accounts it has been a great success so far. It is hard to make sense of the move as being a result of the S5. Erick Mack, of Forbes made an interesting comment about the company’s brand power:
For right now, it still seems to me that millions of consumers worldwide care far less about that “quality feel” than people in the tech media echo chamber, but it’s likely that the fear inside Samsung is that its brand power is heading for a plateau, and sooner or later word will start to get out about more substantial-feeling phones like HTC’s One M8.3