Can Intel Korea head make it to Asia-Pacific chief?
Intel Korea Country Manager Lee Hee-sung harbors an ambition to lead the chip giant’s Asia-Pacific operations.
If Lee achieves this, it would be the first jump in hierarchy from Korea operations chief to regional leader. Intel is expected to conduct a top-echelon shakeup and, according to some sources, Lee has made a shortlist by Intel CEO Paul Otellini.
``Lee could be promoted to take over, replacing Intel’s current Asia-Pacific chief Navin Shenoy,’’ said one source.
Intel’s Asia-Pacific region covers all Asian countries except China and Japan. The post is pivotal considering it handles a growing consumer electronics market.
Intel Korea’s Park Min-jin denied Lee is up for a promotion.
Industry analysts say as head of Intel’s Korean operations since 2006, Lee has made great deal of contributions in revenue, being helped by Samsung and LG Electronics.
``Intel Korea is expected to surpass Intel Japan in terms of revenue contribution to the headquarters within the next three years,’’ Lee was quoted as saying by Digital Daily, a Korean on-line news provider that mainly covers tech-related issues.
The company is one of the critical business partners with Samsung. Over 95 percent of Samsung’s computing devices use Intel’s CPU, though Park declined to confirm on this.
LG is using Intel CPUs in its devices, known as ``full alignment,’’ which Park confirmed.
``Over the last few years, Samsung Electronics has seen a significant rise in its business and that’s why headquarters is showing more attention to the achievements of Intel Korea,’’ said Lee.
Samsung Electronics is planning to sell some 19 million PCs by the end of this year from 14 million sold last year, company officials said. That is a big rise for its PC business. In 2007, it sold just some 2.6 million PCs, leaving it outside the top 10 list.
``The PC business is the in which segment that Samsung Electronics is spending more following a order from its CEO Choi Gee-sung and that also means Intel Korea is seeing more revenue by selling its more CPUs,’’ said a Samsung official, adding it’s no surprise that Intel Korea chief Lee could be promoted as the new Asia-Pacific head.
The official declined to be named because he didn’t have the right to officially speak to the media.
The earlier acquisition of Infineon Technologies’ wireless solutions business is helping Intel Korea create more revenue. An Intel spokeswoman said Infineon is supplying its wireless chips to Samsung and LG Electronics.
Samsung and Intel are looking to take on Google’s Android software. Because Nokia is married to Microsoft, Intel needs a new original equipment manufacturer vendor to build a platform on.
``Intel is keen to expand its presence in the mobile market, and aims to control the operating system and CPUs,’’ said another source, adding a handset, if realized, would be a unique way for Samsung and Intel to rival Android.