(Repeats to broaden distribution; no changes to text)
* Mobile design VP Lee Min-hyouk to replace Chang Dong-hoon
* Lee became Samsung's youngest senior executive in 2010
* Chang to continue leading overall product design strategy
SEOUL, May 8 Samsung Electronics Co Ltd
, the world's biggest handset maker, has replaced the
head of its mobile design team amid criticism of the latest
Galaxy S smartphone.
Chang Dong-hoon offered to resign last week and will be
replaced by Lee Min-hyouk, vice president for mobile design, a
Samsung spokeswoman said on Thursday.
"The realignment will enable Chang to focus more on his role
as head of the Design Strategy Team, the company's corporate
design centre which is responsible for long-term design strategy
across all of Samsung's businesses, including Mobile
Communications," Samsung said in a statement.
Lee, 42, became Samsung's youngest senior executive in 2010
for his role in designing the Galaxy series, a roaring success
which unseated Apple Inc's iPhone as king of the global
Samsung now sells two times more smartphones than Apple,
largely thanks to the success of Galaxy range.
But the South Korean firm has also been battling patent
litigation the world over, with Apple claiming Samsung copied
the look and feel of the U.S. firm's mobile products.
The Galaxy S5, which debuted globally last month, has
received a lukewarm response from consumers due to its lack of
eye-popping hardware innovations, while its plastic case design
has been panned by some critics for looking cheap and made out
of a conveyor belt. The Wall Street Journal said the
gold-coloured back cover on the S5 looked like a band-aid.
Chang, a former professor who studied at the School of the
Art Institute of Chicago, will continue to lead Samsung's design
centre which overseas its overall design strategy.
Lee, who acquired the moniker of "Midas" for his golden
touch with the Galaxy series, started out designing cars for
Samsung's failed auto joint venture with Renault in the 1990s.
(Reporting by Miyoung Kim; Editing by Stephen Coates)