Samsung Electronics today announced Oh-hyun Kwon will be the company’s new CEO, taking over from Gee-sung Choi, who will be heading to a new corporate strategy position for the entire Samsung group. Choi is widely regarded as the man who turned around Samsung’s fortunes and cemented the company’s leadership in smartphone business to become the world’s largest smartphone vendor.
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pMicrosoft has announced it has entered into a definitive agreement with Yammer to acquire the enterprise social networking service for $1.2 billion. Yammer will join Microsoft’s Office division, where it will continue as a stand-alone product but will eventually be incorporated into other Microsoft Office products like SharePoint, Office 365, Dynamics, Skype and other cloud services.
Web chat service provider Meebo has been acquired by Google. The terms of the deal have not been announced but it was earlier rumored to be valued by Google for $100 million. Meebo had recently launched Meebo bar that enabled site owners to not only share more of their content and engage with users but also deliver ads.
Sony today announced its transformation plan under new CEO Kazuo Hirai. Some key take-away points:
- Major focus of investment and growth would be on three divisions – digital imaging, video games and mobile products. These divisions are expected to bring 70 percent of sales and 85 percent of profits for the group by 2014.
- Will integrate R&D, design engineering, marketing and sales of Sony Mobile, tablets and VIAO businesses.
- Turn-around of Television business.
- More focus on emerging markets.
Read on for the complete press release.
Nokia today provided a lower devices and services outlook for Q1, 2012 and also provided a grim outlook for the next quarter. The company cites competitive industry dynamics that affected sales in its mobile phones and smart devices divisions in markets where it has typically performed well, especially India, Middle East, Africa and China. Nokia also cites gross margin declines in the smart devices business.
I think it is unheard of in present times when a company is recording a lower gross margin in smartphones (16 percent) when compared to mobile phones (26 percent). The global 20 percent price cut in its Lumia range seems to have had a big impact on the company’s bottomline. The only silver lining is Nokia has sold 2 million units of its Lumia smartphones at an average selling price of Euro 220. Nokia estimates it sold 71 million mobile phones and 12 million smartphones in this quarter. Read on for the complete press release.
Even as Google waits for approval from Chinese authorities for its $12.5 billion acquisition bid for Motorola Mobility, rumors are apparently rife that it could sell off Motorola’s handset business to Huawei. Intomobile seems to have sparked this rumor but it isn’t exactly anything new. Both Huawei and ZTE were considered to be prime candidates to scoop up the handset business, that is if Google put it up for sale.
I do not see any reason for Google to do that, though some analysts would point out Google would alienate its OEM partners if it kept Motorola’s handset business. While Google had initially justified Motorola Mobility’s 17,000 patents as the reason for the acquisition, it always maintained it will keep Motorola as a complete separate division outside of Google. Read on.
Sony is set to reduce its workforce by an estimated 10,000 jobs, or about 6 percent of its global total workforce. These cuts would happen over the next two fiscal years, ending in March 2014 and are a part of the new restructuring plan by new CEO Kaz Hirai, which will be announced at the corporate strategy meeting on Thursday, the Wall Street Journal reports.
The company will also be selling or spinning off businesses which are not earning the brand any profits such as its television division, where Sony is again expected to lose money for an eighth straight year. The company’s plan to reduce its workforce was first reported by Japan’s Nikkei newspaper today where it reported the cuts would come into effect by the end of this year. Sony denied this newspaper report in an interview with the BBC.
“Substantial change is what RIM needs,” said CEO Thorsten Heins while addressing shareholders and analysts to announce the BlackBerry manufacturer’s fiscal year 2012 earnings. RIM posted a loss of $125 million on a revenue of $4.2 billion (down 19 percent from Q3) and saw its smartphone sales dropping a whopping 21 percent from the preceding quarter to 11.1 million units. RIM also announced its former Co-CEO Jim Balsillie, CTO David Yach and COO Jim Rowan would be leaving the company.
HTC’s Beats Electronics is tipped to acquire MOG, a music subscription service, for an undisclosed amount, according to a Reuters report. The two companies have been in talks for weeks and the acquisition could happen within the next fortnight. HTC has been rumored to launch its own music subscription service in order to differentiate its products from other Android vendors.
Spreadtrum, a fabless semiconductor provider in China, has invested $10 million (approximately Rs 50 crore) in Micromax Mobile and will become one of Micromax’s preferred chipset vendors. Till now, Micromax has typically launched phones that run either on MediaTek or Qualcomm’s chipsets.
ABC recently became the latest news organization to be given a look inside consumer electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn’s facilities in Shenzhen and Chengdu, China, and the Nightline special that resulted from the trip will air on Tuesday. In the meantime, ABC News has posted a 90-second teaser video containing footage from reporter Bill Weir’s trip to China. Apple, of course, is the only Foxconn partner mentioned in the preview so we can expect the forthcoming report to focus on the Cupertino-based company’s wares, but the teaser promises a never-before-seen look at Foxconn’s facilities so it could be an eye-opening segment. Foxconn and its premier partner Apple have once again taken center stage in a human rights debate that recently saw protesters deliver a petition to Apple’s Grand Central Terminal store demanding the technology giant play a more active role in improving working conditions in the Chinese factories that assemble its hardware. ABC’s teaser video follows after the break.
This post originally appeared on BGR: The Three Biggest Letters In Tech.com