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LG CEO Resigns Over Poor Smartphone Performance

The CEO of South Korean consumer electronics giant LG resigned today because of the company’s poor performance in the smartphone space. Yong Nam will be replaced by Bon Joon Koo, currently the head of LG International. LG reported a loss in the mobile segment of $103.1 million for the quarter ended in July.

LG has been a big partner of Microsoft (s msft), with Windows Mobile used on the majority of its smartphone line until this year. Windows Mobile has been steadily losing market share the last two years, taking LG down with it. In a change of heart, LG announced earlier this year it would produce as many as 20 handsets based on the hot Android (s goog) platform to stem the downward slide.

It has not abandoned Microsoft entirely; LG prototypes running Windows Phone 7 have been spotted in public regularly, and the company has indicated the Optimus 7 handset coming late this year would run the new operating system from Redmond. LG no doubt hopes the focus on Android, along with brand new Windows Phone 7 handsets, can help kick-start its smartphone business back into the black, although that will be too late for Nam.

Related research from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d): The App Developer’s Guide to Choosing a Mobile Platform

5 Responses to “LG CEO Resigns Over Poor Smartphone Performance”

  1. LG’s decision to hitch its cart to Microsoft’s Windows Mobile horse was a grave mistake.

    It cost LG money. It cost LG critical time, as when Windows Mobile sales collapsed, LG had to hurriedly reengineer Windows Mobile handsets to become Android handsets.

    This reengineering rush is the reason why all of LG’s handsets were below the standards of competitors.

    But it seems it takes time for LG to learn its lesson. Unbelievably, LG is vowing to hitch its cart to Microsoft’s mobile horse yet again, this time with Windows Phone 7.

    The best-case scenario is that it is a long-shot for Microsoft to gain any traction with Windows Phone 7. The more common prediction among major analysts is that Windows Phone 7 will have very low sales initially, which will decrease in time.

    It’s no wonder that LG’s CEO Yong Nam was given the heave-ho. Hopefully his successor will put LG back on track over the next 18 months.

    LG does not have its own phone operating system, so its only answer for success is to embrace Android 100%, and make cutting-edge phones on the Android platform.