Samsung's top mobile chief leaves company

Kevin Packingham, chief product officer for the mobile division of Samsung Electronics, who was involved in introducing several of Samsung's popular Galaxy devices, has left the company.

The reasons for Packingham's departure, which was announced internally as recently as Tuesday, were unclear. Samsung's representatives declined to provide details on his exit, and Packingham did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

"Kevin Packingham has departed Samsung Mobile," said Ashley Wimberly, a Samsung Mobile spokeswoman, in a statement. "We thank Kevin for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Over his two years at Samsung Mobile, in Dallas, Packingham was instrumental in the global unveiling of the Galaxy S III smartphone, the first serious contender to Apple's iPhone last year, in terms of sales. He was involved in the negotiations that enabled Samsung to release the smartphone on all of the big U.S. carriers, which helped it quickly gain ground.

In an interview last month, Packingham said Samsung was able to rally strong support from carriers by taking a different approach from other handset makers. Typically, handset makers rely heavily on the carriers to not only sell their phones in retail stores, but also promote them in advertising.

Samsung, however, told the carriers it would invest in its own big marketing campaigns for its phones, guaranteeing that its devices would be hits. In return, the carriers were generally happy to promote and support many of Samsung's phones.

"The change that happened was it took a lot of burden off the carriers," Packingham said at the time. "People were coming into their stores and they didn't have to pay for that demand."

Before joining Samsung, Packingham was chief executive of Amerilink Telecom, a small company that tried unsuccessfully to bring in Huawei, the Chinese telecom equipment manufacturer, as a vendor for Sprint Nextel. He also previously worked for Sprint as a product executive.

© 2013, The New York Times News Service

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