CNET reports that over the past two months, “at least” five high-ranking executives have departed from Samsung’s US mobile business, also known as Samsung Telecommunications America, or STA. The report, citing “people familiar with the departures”, claims that the departures have included the head of national sales, the mobile devices product chief, and a key strategist for the company’s Galaxy tablets and Gear smartwatches.
Notably, these departures all come less than a year after Gregory Lee took the reigns as president and CEO of Samsung’s US mobile and electronics business. The departures also come in the midst of the company batting Apple in yet another patent infringement case.
“As our US business continues to diversify and expand, we will continue to build an industry leading organization with people who will contribute to even greater success for Samsung,” Samsung said in a statement. “Some have left voluntarily to pursue other opportunities, and we thank them for their service.”
Specifically, the executive departures include Seshu Madhavapeddy, the senior vice president of product and technology; Nanda Ramachandran, the vice president and general manager in charge of strategy, marketing and product management for the Galaxy tablets and Gear smartwatches, Mike Pennington, the vice president of sales operations and head of national sales; Ketrina Dunagan, the vice president of retail and channel marketing, who most notably led the rollout of Samsung Experience shops in Best Buys; and Donna Cerny, the director of human resources.
Kevin Packingham, Samsung’s chief product officer, also left the company in late 2013. Packingham left because “enjoyed his job less” as Samsung started to focus purely on flagship devices. Travis Merrill announced his departure in mid-March. He was the vice president of marketing for the Galaxy Tab devices and did not provide any reasoning for leaving.
It’s unclear where these executives are off to after the departures from Samsung, although Donna Cerny’s LinkedIn profile says that she has now joined Apple’s human resources department.
HTC saw a similar mini-exodus last summer when key executives departed to form their own mobile device company. Although, we’ve yet to hear anything more about that company since the initial announcement.
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