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Sprint Product Ambassador: The People of LG - Dr. Jong-seon Park

Sprint Product Ambassador


Here in the Product Ambassador team we like to talk alot about devices.  They're fun, cool and exciting and really the reason why our team started in the first place; Corporate Communications and Product Marketing found that the #1 thing that SprintSpace readers cared about was gadgets, and thus, the PA team was born.

But when new devices come out, with all of the ooo's and ahh's and specs and capabilities flying around, it's easy to forget that PEOPLE are behind these wonderful things.  Very smart, interesting and innovative people.  And arguably one of the most powerful and influential people in the industry is Dr. Jong seong-Park, the executive VP and CEO of LG Mobile Communications.

A 30-year veteran of LG Electronics, Dr. Park previously served as head of LG?s Mobile Handset R&D Center, before which he spent 17 successful years at LG?s digital TV business. With this vast experience and strong record of achievement, Dr. Park is now devoted to leading LG?s Mobile Communications Company to the next major breakthrough in the mobile industry.  While serving as head of the Mobile Handset R&D Center, Dr. Park was in charge of directing the research and development of all LG?s mobile products. Dr. Park showed particularly assured leadership in transitioning the R&D Center?s focus from feature phones to smartphones, while simultaneously enhancing the company?s overall expertise and technologies.

During Dr. Park?s tenure developing digital television technology, which began in 1992, his lab continually introduced new innovations, such as DTV transmission technology, DTV Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC) technology and various digital TV sets including the Time Machine, which paved the way for a global change in how we watch television.

In 1998, Dr. Park was promoted to the position of Vice President as well as head of the Digital TV Research Lab. In 2003 he became head of the Corporate Strategy Planning Team, and in 2006 LG Electronics again recognized Dr. Park?s work and excellence by making him an Executive Vice President and head of the Home Entertainment Company Research Lab.

The Korean government has also acknowledged Dr. Park?s commitment to making his country a global leader in technology and LG Electronics one of the foremost electronics companies in the world. Since 1997, Dr. Park has received four Presidential and Prime Ministerial awards.

Dr. Park holds a Bachelor of Science in electronic engineering from Seoul National University and a Master of Science in electronic engineering from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology. After earning a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Florida in the United States, Dr. Park further broadened his expertise by receiving a Master of Business Administration from McGill University in Canada.

(Source: LG)

What makes him powerful: For years, Jong-seok Park has been  trying to turn LG into a growing smartphone maker, all the while toiling in the  shadow of its larger South Korean rival, Samsung Electronics. LG was slower to  make the shift from feature phones to smartphones, but LG has  made solid strides to gain momentum in the smartphone market.

Park has steered LG toward focusing on LTE smartphones with fast processors  as a way to accelerate growth, if not necessarily to set LG apart from the pack.  That strategy was clearly on display at Mobile World Congress in February 2013, when  the company unveiled  a new range of Optimus-branded phones. In the first quarter of 2013, LG shipped  a record 10.3 million smartphones--and its total handset sales, including  feature phones and smartphones, were up nearly 31 percent from the period a year prior. The company also tried to regain traction in the U.S. market, where it  had ceded ground to Apple, Samsung, HTC and others, via the  launch of the Optimus G Pro. Though the device did not make much of a  splash, LG did set  a new record for smartphone sales in the second quarter, with 12.1  million.

Around the same time, LG announced that the company's next flagship phone  would officially be known as G2, and would be the first smartphone from LG to be  launched as  part of the company's new "G" premium brand. Park said the goal in dropping  the Optimus branding for its highest-end smartphones was to make the G  branded-devices "synonymous with excellence, raising the bar even further for  the ultimate in user experience."

Then, in early August, Park took  the stage at a media event in New York City to unveil the G2, and said it  would be coming to 130 wireless carriers in the next eight weeks, including all  four Tier 1 U.S. carriers. The G2 launch represented an opportunity for Park and  LG to get broad U.S. carrier distribution for a single high-end smartphone  model, something it had not previously been able to do, and that its competitors  had.

Park also used the opportunity to expound on LG's design philosophy and  approach to the G2; the device's front and sides have no physical buttons, with  the volume and power controls on the back of the phone, in what LG calls the  "rear key."

"The innovation that consumers expected has come and gone and we are left  with only the technology. With so much focus on the technology, a gap has  appeared between what consumers want and what companies create," Park said of  the smartphone market at the event. "But this is not how we want innovation to  be defined. Technology without empathy can no longer be considered innovation.  Innovation for the sake of innovation is old school."

It's too soon to tell how much longevity the G2 will have and how it might  boost LG's sales. The company reported  its first operating loss at its mobile unit in a year in the third quarter,  and the loss was likely due to intense competition and higher marketing costs  for the company's flagship G2 smartphone. The company maintained its momentum in  the smartphone market though, selling 12 million smartphones in the period.

Park and LG are ending the year on a high note, having been selected as the designer  of Google's Nexus 5 smartphone, despite earlier assurances it would not be  involved with the program after  it made the Nexus 4. Park helped LG get its mobile mojo back in 2013, but  the pressure will be on to continue the momentum next year.

(source: Fierce Wireless)

Dr. Park continues to push innovation in the smartphone space and was higjly influential in bringing the exciting new G Flex to market, the world's first curved, flexible smartphone.

?The LG G Flex is the best representation yet of how a smartphone should be curved,? said Dr. Park. ?The LG G Flex with its distinctive design, innovative hardware and consumer-centric UX represents the most significant development in the smartphone space since smartphone became part of our regular vocabulary.?

The PA team welcomes new innovation in the industry and we find the amount of progress that LG has made in the last couple of years very impressive.  It's clear they are hungry for greatness and it shows in the excellent hardware and amazing design they are coming up with.  We are excited to see what the future holds!

Until next time,

The Product Ambassador Team

Disclaimer: The Product Ambassadors are Sprint employees from
many different parts of the company that love technology. They volunteer to
test out all sorts of Sprint devices and offer opinions freely to the
Community. Each Product Ambassador shares their own opinions of these devices,
therefore the information in this post does not necessarily reflect the
opinions of Sprint. The PA's do not represent the company in an official way,
and should not be expected to respond to Community members in an official capacity.