No one really knows why Kevin Packingham, the Head of Samsung Mobile US, decided to quit

BY Stefan Constantinescu

Published 4 Oct 2013

Kevin Packingham is a name I wasn’t really familiar with until yesterday. That’s when The New York Times broke the story that he decided to leave Samsung. What did he do there? His last title was “Chief Product Officer for the Mobile Division of Samsung Electronics”, but I’m not sure if that’s been his role for his entire two year duration at the company. He joined Samsung in September 2011.

In an interview given after announcing he’d left, Packingham said his favorite part of the job was dealing with operators to give them the variants that they wanted and demanded to sell to customers. These days, however, he says that most of Samsung’s product planning is done in South Korea, and all Samsung Mobile USA really does is work on marketing. It’s easy to see why a product planning guy wouldn’t want to be working for what’s essentially a public relations agency.

Does Samsung not like dealing with operators? On the contrary, they’ll do anything to get a few extra million sales, but American operators allow Samsung to ship the same devices on all four providers because of the ridiculous amount of money that they throw on advertising. That’s money that operators don’t have to spend, which makes them happy.