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LG Electronics opens new robot, self-driving centers

LG Electronics Inc. said Wednesday it opened two new organizations under the direct control of its chief executive officer that will focus on bolstering its robot and self-driving solution businesses.

The two were created as part of a regular reshuffle which promoted 56 executives. LG Electronics said it decided to bring some changes to the structure as well to reflect its business strategy.

LG Group`s Twin Tower headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul (Yonhap)
LG Group`s Twin Tower headquarters in Yeouido, Seoul (Yonhap)

The South Korean tech giant said it opened the robot business center and the self-driving team in line with efforts to foster new growth engines.

The new robot center will focus on developing new robotic products and services. The organization will bring together staff from various robot-related teams throughout the company.

The self-driving business team will make long-term investments related to emerging technologies, the company added.

The tech giant said it will also open the North America Research & Development Center, which will incorporate different research bodies in the United States and Canada.

LG expanded the convergence business development center under the CEO to speed up synergy among artificial intelligence, Internet of Things and fifth-generation (5G) network technologies.

The tech giant said it will maintain the current five-division system but will change the name of the vehicle components arm to Vehicle Component Solutions, reflecting the efforts to expand its portfolio. The business-to-business division was renamed as the Business Solutions division.

LG Electronics also replaced the head of the mobile communication business. President Kwon Bong-seok, who heads the home entertainment division, will double as the head of the mobile arm.

It marked the first time for one person to head two divisions at the same time. Vice President Hwang Jeong-hwan, who led the MC division, was named to lead the convergence business development center.

LG Electronics has been losing money from the segment.

Considering the operating profit posted in the first quarter of 2017 through a last-minute adjustment as another loss, the MC division has been effectively losing money from smartphones for 14 consecutive quarters.

LG earlier claimed that it will improve its earnings through devices running on the fifth-generation (5G) network next year, and seek a turnaround in 2020.

The HE division, meanwhile, is one of the major contributors to LG's earnings on the back of the strong shipment of OLED TVs. (Yonhap)