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Samsung hires ex-Ericsson execs to boost network business

Jan. 29, 2023 - 15:08 By Jo He-rim
Samsung Electronics Chairman Lee Jae-yong (right), then vice chairman, poses with Verizon Wireless CEO Hans Vestberg during his visit to Verizon headquarters in the US state of New Jersey, in November 2021. (Samsung Electronics)

South Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics has hired two experts from Swedish telco Ericsson to reinforce its network business.

According to industry sources on Sunday, Samsung recently established a task force under its network business division to oversee a new business strategy. For the task force chief, the company hired Henrik Jansson, formerly the strategic sourcing manager for Ericsson.

The company also recruited Jo Mi-sun who served as the head of sustainability and corporate responsibility at Ericsson. She is expected to be in charge of finding new business areas and sales in Europe.

Last year, the company promoted Kim Woo-june as president and head of the network business division, from his previous position, executive vice president.

Samsung has been aggressively expanding its network business with Chairman Lee Jae-yong leading the efforts. Lee has been reaching out to meet with information and communication technology industry leaders around the world to support the sales of 5G network equipment.

In November, Samsung Electronics won the contract to supply 5G radio equipment for Japan’s NTT Docomo. The two companies first signed an agreement in March 2021 for cooperation on 5G technology after Lee met with the telecom firm’s chief executive in person.

Lee also clinched a 1 trillion-won large-scale 5G equipment deal with DC Network, the fourth-largest mobile communication operator in the US, in 2022, which was the second-largest order for the company after one in 2020.

In September 2020, the Korean tech giant signed a 7.9-trillion-won 5G equipment supply contract with Verizon, the No. 1 mobile operator in the US. It was the largest single contract a Korean company signed in the history of the Korean telecommunication equipment industry.

Lee has been promoting the network business since 2011, when 3G communication technology was widely used, and 4G services were introduced. As the vice chairman at the time, Lee pushed for establishment of a division for "next generation communication" in charge of research and development for 5G technology.

Samsung has chosen 5G communications equipment as the company’s next growth engine, along with three other sectors -- artificial intelligence, bio and electronic components for semiconductors -- in its white paper published and supervised by Lee, in 2020.

By Jo He-rim (