Samsung Electronics announced on Tuesday it has appointed Jun Young-hyun as the new head of its semiconductor business in an apparent move to strengthen its market competitiveness.

Kyung Kye-hyun, who previously led the key unit of the world’s largest memory chip maker, will transition to the future business planning unit, according to the company.

Jun, who joined Samsung Electronics in 2000, has extensive experience in the semiconductor and battery sectors, reports Yonhap news agency.

After leading the development of DRAM and NAND flash memories in the chip division, he took over Samsung SDI Co. in 2017, helping the battery maker shift to the black in 2020 and become a major player in the global market.

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“Jun was a key player in growing Samsung Electronics’ memory chip and battery businesses to the global level,” the company said in a statement. “We expect him to overcome the semiconductor crisis based on his rich management experience.”

Samsung Electronics’ chip business has struggled with sluggish sales for the past few years, logging an operating loss of over 15 trillion won (South Korean currency) last year.

It experienced five consecutive quarters of operating losses, from the fourth quarter of 2022 to the fourth quarter of 2023.

However, in the first quarter of 2024, the chip business rebounded to achieve an operating profit of 1.91 trillion won with 23.1 trillion won in sales, thanks to rising memory chip prices.

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