Mitchinson gets Samsung IT remit


Samsung Mobile UK and Ireland vice president Mark Mitchinson is to be handed charge of five more UK sales divisions by the Korean manufacturer, Mobile News understands.

Mitchinson took charge of Samsung’s MP3/MP4 business late last year. Sources claim he is also to be tasked with improving performance of its PC, laptop, netbook, print and monitor divisions, as the Korean restructures its UK and Ireland business to bring together disparate marketing and sales functions.

Samsung expects to drive down operational expenditure and drive up efficiencies. Redundancies are likely at its headquarters in Chertsey, Surrey.

Samsung wants its consumer electronics and computing divisions to replicate the success of its mobile phone unit, and for Mitchinson to drive closer integration of marketing and sales processes.

Samsung will work hard on its smartphone portfolio in 2010, with a glut of devices running Android and its proprietary Bada platform.

Strategically, the manufacturer considers the crossover of mobile and IT products to be an essential opportunity, and will work on the overlap of product sets within its direct and indirect distribution channels.

Mitchinson is understood to be planning a shake-up of distribution in his broader role, with indirect channels utilised heavily for multiple product types. Computer 2000 and Micro-P, its leading IT distributors, will be brought closer. Handset distributors Data Select and Brightstar, joint-venture partner with Computer 2000, will also be stretched for broader supply.

Samsung will increase crossover of sales of handsets, netbooks and laptops into high street specialist and general electronics retailers in both markets.

Mitchinson’s promotion will see him responsible for a local sales business with twice the turnover of the mobile division alone. Only Samsung’s UK television, camera, projector and business solutions units will be outside of his direct control.

Mitchinson is the first non-Korean to hold a vice presidential role at Samsung. The new responsibility, to be confirmed in the next months, shows the esteem in which he is held in Seoul. Samsung Mobile usurped Nokia as UK number one through the end of 2009, with a 30 per cent share of the market between November and December.

A close source said: “Samsung is looking at its ecosystem and integrating mobile and IT in to be a serious unified communications player. Mobile is 50 per cent of what Samsung turns over in the UK, so it’s a huge part of the business.”

Mitchinson refused to comment. Samsung was unavailable at press.