Samsung UK purge gathers momentum

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UK sales director Andrew Glass is the latest departure in senior exodus from the manufacturer 

Samsung’s wave of senior staff departures continued this month with UK sales director Andrew Glass the latest to exit the manufacturer.

Glass (pictured front), who joined Samsung in 2010, follows former European enterprise business VP Rob Orr and UK and Ireland VP for mobile and IT Simon Stanford out of the company in the past six-months.

Speculation surrounding his future has been rife in recent months following Stanford’s exit with rumours of poor sales and large quantities of unsold stock.

Samsung insists it was Glass’ decision to quit, despite sources close to the company claiming he was pushed.

A Samsung spokesperson said: “Samsung confirms that Andrew Glass has made a decision to leave the business. We thank Andrew for his contributions to Samsung over the last five years and wish him well for the future.”

Falling share

The news follows a difficult year for the Korean firm having announced it plans to conduct a major restructure of its smartphone business,after seeing profits decline £2.4 billion year-on-year.

This prompted Samsung senior vice president Kim Hyun-joon to admit sales of high-end smartphones were disappointing, with the focus now switching to releasing mid-to-low tier handsets.

Last week Samsung said it expected its quarterly profits (ending December 31) to fall by a third (37 per cent) to around £3.1 billion, with sales across the business falling 12 per cent.

In September, Samsung lost its position as the UK’s leading smartphone manufacturer to Apple, a lead which has since rapidly increased following the launch of the iPhone 6.

According to the latest figures (three months ending November) from Kantar Worldpanel ComTech seen by Mobile News, Apple’s sales share increased 12.2 per cent year-on-year to 42.5 per cent.

In contrast, Samsung’s share has fallen 9.2 per cent year-on-year to 24.4 per cent.

Critical year

Former Nokia UK and Ireland MD Conor Pierce was appointed by Samsung in December to help turn around Samsung’s recent fortunes – in a year some analysts are describing as “critical” for the manufacturer.

Gartner research director Roberta Cozza commented: “They have some big decisions to make around their smartphone strategy. They are facing challenges on all fronts – Apple in the high-end and rising players such as Xiaomi in the mid and low-end.”

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