The name isn’t known to many, but his now-former role is very important.
Andrew Bowins is no longer at Samsung after spending just over one year with the company. He led Samsung North America’s corporate communications and reputation management since last summer. The specific role, according to his LinkedIn profile, says Bowins was in charge of a team of twenty people and a network of agencies working on corporate marketing, media relations, reputation management, social responsibility, and more.
It’s not clear if this was a firing by Samsung, a resignation by Bowins, or a mutual separation initiated by both parties. The reasoning for Bowins’ exit, however, is obvious. Samsung was forced to deal with a massive scandal from August through October.
The Galaxy Note 7, as you know by now, is no longer available because of battery explosions affecting units worldwide. Samsung eventually pulled the phone without any intention to replace it, but the effect on the company’s brand was immediate. People didn’t easily accept Samsung’s ownership of what happened (and a number still don’t today); therefore, full-page newspaper advertisements ran in November to express remorse once again. Despite issuing multiple apologies, affected and unaffected consumers are haunting Samsung, especially on social media, and reminding them of their decision to quickly re-release a device and then have it face the same problem.
Although not entirely his fault, Bowins’ position is largely responsibly for the handling of crises like the Galaxy Note 7 scandal. That didn’t go well, leaving Samsung no choice but to look elsewhere for corporate communications and crisis management.
Bowins worked with Nokia, Dell, and MasterCard before joining Samsung in mid-2015. There shouldn’t be any issue for Bowins in finding a new job considering his history with global brands is strong.
On top of it all, AdAge point out that industry professionals are not pleased with Samsung’s communication style. It’s widely viewed as slow and unclear. This could mean Samsung is planning to overhaul its corporate communications and reputation management approach with a new team.