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Samsung appoints first-ever British head of UK ops

Andy Griffiths gets bigger office and everything

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Samsung Electronics has upgraded UK and Ireland MD Andy Griffiths to the presidential suite above - the first time the Korean chaebol has put a native in charge of a major country subsidiary.

The previous man in the hotseat, SP Kim, who doubled up as president of European operations, has now moved to run two global business units: marketing and B2B.

In his role as MD, Griffiths was shadowed by John Kim, who remains on the board of the local operation, but he will now have sole control for country's P&L.

Graham Long, UK and Ireland veep for the enterprise business at Samsung, said the appointment showed corporate HQ "recognised the strengths" of a native running the "local market".

In recent years Samsung has built a sizeable channel operation via distribution, and turned its sights to the B2B space at a time when the consumer market was considerably more challenged.

Long told us that Sammy had raided vendors including IBM, Cisco, HP and Xerox to poach people well versed in enterprise tech conversations. Cisco sales director Tim Skinner was one of those scalps, as previously revealed by The Channel.

"B2B is one of the major objectives for 2014," said Long.

According to stats from channel analyst Context, Samsung accounted for a whopping 12.9 per cent of tech distie's total revenues in the UK during Q4, edging closer to market leader HP which held 15.4 per cent, down from nearly 21 per cent.

This compared to the 7.3 per cent that Samsung held two years earlier, and was boosted by tabs, notebooks and displays.

Globally, the Korean tech heavyweight made an operating profit of £5.6bn in Q4 alone, but this was down from £6bn a year earlier. ®

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