Kara Swisher

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Samsung Hires Former AOL and Google Content Exec David Eun to Lead Renewed Media Push

South Korean consumer electronics giant Samsung Electronics has hired former AOL and Google exec David Eun to lead a new push to create more media offerings, the company said.

In a press release, the maker of a wide range of devices — from televisions to tablets to smartphones and more — said Eun would serve as executive vice president of its media-related units.

About Eun’s role, Samsung said: “He will play a key role in developing a global media strategy and driving new business opportunities to take advantage of Samsung’s growing number of digital televisions and displays, mobile phones, tablets and other connected devices.”

It’s not clear what that means, but presumably it could spell more investments and acquisitions in digital media, and even in the social space.

The move is part of a larger reorganization at Samsung Electronics, which it also announced has divided into two parts, digital media and communications and device solutions.

Samsung’s deepening of its media efforts — it has previously launched various smaller content initiatives — is an interesting one, especially in light of the fast-changing market it now competes in, in which partners like Apple and Google have also become intense rivals.

Google bought Motorola recently and has been increasing its media offerings, as has Apple. Samsung and Apple are also engaged in a series of global legal battles over devices.

In turn, companies like Amazon — which recently released the Kindle Fire tablet — have upped their efforts in the consumer electronics area.

In addition, Japan’s Sony — which already owns a major Hollywood studio — now owns all its handset business and has recently added tablets to its lineup.

Eun is an interesting choice, having been part of Google’s earliest efforts to move beyond its core search business into media, such as its acquisition of YouTube.

He left his most recent job at AOL, where he had headed its content unit, earlier this year. Eun has also previously worked at both Time Warner and NBC.

Here’s the official press release about his hiring:

Samsung Electronics Appoints David Eun as Executive Vice President

Eun to Enhance Samsung’s Global Media and Content Efforts

SEOUL, Korea — December 14, 2011 –Samsung Electronics Co., the technology leader and innovator in consumer electronics and telecommunications, proudly announces the appointment of David Eun as Executive Vice President.

Eun joins Samsung after an accomplished career in media and content. He was most recently President of AOL Media and Studios, where he oversaw AOL’s efforts to become a leading provider of premium content, spanning over 100 different websites and production studios in NY and LA. Before that, he formed a global Content Partnerships group at Google with oversight for media strategy, partnerships and strategic alliances spanning over 30 different Google products including Google Books, Maps and YouTube. He also has a deep knowledge of traditional media businesses from working at Time Warner and NBC.

He will play a key role in developing a global media strategy and driving new business opportunities to take advantage of Samsung’s growing number of digital televisions and displays, mobile phones, tablets and other connected devices.

“Samsung Electronics has an unparalleled footprint across multiple devices and platforms that provides a unique experience to consumers around the world. The competition for prominence in the living room has already begun, and Samsung Electronics is ideally situated to extend beyond that to connect the entire home and the lives of consumers,” stated Eun. “I’m looking forward to joining the impressive leadership already in place and to building a new presence in media for Samsung Electronics.”

Eun received a J.D. from Harvard Law School, where he was a Teaching Fellow for the Harvard Negotiation Project, and an A.B., magna cum laude in Government, from Harvard College. He was selected “Digital Power Player of the Year” by the Hollywood Reporter in 2010, is an Advisory Board Member for the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, and sits on the Board of the Television Academy of the Arts and Sciences Foundation.


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