Samsung is having a bad year.
D.J. Lee, the global marketing boss, is the highest level person to leave, according to the reports.
Samsung’s profits fell about 60% last quarter, mostly due to dwindling smartphone sales. The company is having trouble competing with other Android phone manufacturers like Xiaomi that make high-end devices that can do everything Samsung’s phones can do but cost half as much.
Xiaomi is now the third-largest smartphone vendor in the world. Samsung is still the top smartphone vendor, but its market share and profits continue to drop.
Samsung announced earlier this week that JK Shin, the CEO of the mobile division, would keep his job even though there was a report from The Wall Street Journal that he might be ousted for the division’s weak performance.
There have also been scattered reports that sales of Samsung’s flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S5, were off as much as 50% from the company’s projections.
Samsung’s biggest challenge in the near term is to figure out a way to differentiate its phones from other Android devices while still selling them at high margins. The company is reportedly experimenting with new hardware like bendable displays, but the real challenge will be to develop new software and services you can’t get anywhere else.
Samsung also has the opportunity to explore new product categories like web-connected appliances thanks to its recent acquisition of smart home startup SmartThings.