Published: Thu, February 15, 2018
Science | By Eileen Rhodes

Google hires former Samsung exec to coordinate Internet of Things projects

Google hires former Samsung exec to coordinate Internet of Things projects

During his nearly seven years at Samsung (the last two as CTO of the mobile division), he was responsible for a range of IoT-friendly development, including the hypersecure mobile OS known as Samsung Knox, along with the Samsung Pay mobile payments service and the Bixby voice assistant. In fact, his LinkedIn profile says he still works there - though Business Korea reports he left the role in December 2017. Entrepreneur-in-residence spots are usually temporary within companies, so while Rhee could just be calling Google his home for a short period of time, we could also see him move up to a more permanent spot later on down the road.

Google offers a range of IoT-related products, including a management service called Cloud IoT Core allowing customers to collect and analyse data from connected devices. "My new job has nothing to do with smartphones and Samsung", he added.

The executive was also behind the South Korean tech giant's acquisition of USA cloud firm Joyent, saying at the time the firm's rollout of new software services made its "reliance and need for cloud ever-growing".

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Bixby, Samsung's own digital assistant, is a good example of how the Koreans want to be more involved in the consumers lives, but acquisitions such as cloud provider Joyent (which Rhee was responsible for) could be viewed as a strategy to be more than a simply a smartphone brand.

Samsung Electronics has promoted 221 senior executives, the most since 2013, with 99 of them from the highly profitable semiconductor business.

Apple is perhaps the only brand which can survive in product mode. Nest will join forces with Google's hardware team instead of being an offshoot division. Will Samsung miss having Rhee around?

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