Ridgefield, N.J. – Peter Weedfald, Samsung’s sales and marketing senior VP, who was instrumental in the multimillion dollar marketing and promotional campaigns that thrust Samsung into leading market share positions in many of the categories in which it competes, will leave the company at the end of next week to become senior VP of consumer electronics retail chain Circuit City.
Weedfald notified members of the media of his pending departure through an e-mail sent late Thursday afternoon.
“It is with mixed emotions that I have resigned from Samsung Electronics effective the end of next week, for an incredible new opportunity working within the executive ranks of Circuit City in Richmond, Virginia,” Weedfald stated.
Commenting on the move, D.J. Oh, Samsung Electronics America president and CEO said Weedfald “has been an influential leader within Samsung and the industry. He successfully developed Samsung’s brand marketing strategy, commanded our consumer electronics business, orchestrated our Four Seasons of Hope and Hope for Education philanthropic programs, and instilled courage and desire within our organization. I wish Peter the best and continued success in his new role.”
A spokesman at the company said a search is underway for Weedfald’s successor.
Weedfald told TWICE that he is keeping the exact nature of his new assignment at Circuit City close to the vest for the time being, adding that it will touch on multiple areas.
“When you have great leaders who have invested so long and so carefully, like Phil Schoonover, Doug Moore, Randy Wick and the other leaders at the company, you don’t really worry about which position you are going to play. Relevancy, rhythm, impact of that relevancy and collaboration to ensure the best organizational leadership, is where the weapons are for competitive advantage.”
“So, there is a little mystery to my new role, but I’m very excited to be at the top ranks with great people and have the opportunity to go with Phil Schoonover’s vision and take our 46,000 employees, and our $12.5 billion business and our store comps to the next level,” Weedfald said. “My title is something we are going to collaborate on and calibrate and make sure the assets that I bring to the table can be best utilized to help us get to the next level.”
Weedfald said the transition to Circuit City “happened very naturally over time. I don’t think any one of them came after me or I went after them,” he said, adding that he spent many hours in his role at Samsung working directly with Schoonover and other Circuit City executives to build Samsung’s presence in their stores.
“If you’re out there working and adding value to your customers and your company, these kinds of things just naturally happen,” Weedfald explained.
The move comes at a time when Samsung is enjoying a significant rise in market share, revenue and profitability.
“I leave the company in very, very strong shape,” he said.
But Weedfald viewed the move as a win-win for Circuit City and Samsung, adding the benefits to Samsung of Weedfald’s move to Circuit City “will be enormous.”
“You bring someone into Samsung and help him shape the vision, the strategies and the deliverables. You keep him here five years and then you put him in your best customer’s office. Not a bad deal,” he said. “The real question is, how are Sony, Panasonic, LG and Sharp going to feel when Samsung has, as far as I’m concerned, one of their most senior executives, sitting in the offices of Circuit City to help shape their future? Circuit City is thrilled and so is Samsung.”
“The huge win [for Samsung] is that I’m not going to a competitor,” Weedfald added.
Weedfald, whose most recent title also included continued responsibilities as senior VP of strategic marketing, joined the company in 2001.
Six months ago, Weedfald was given a promotion to Samsung Electronics Corporation executive status in Seoul, Korea, one of only five non-Koreans to share the status.
Before joining Samsung, Weedfald was executive VP and COO of Big Foot Interactive, following a run as corporate executive VP and general manager of Web appliances at ViewSonic, where he directed worldwide product management, marketing communications, strategic partnerships and Web-based product sales efforts.
Earlier, he held a string of executive publisher positions with Ziff-Davis Publishing over a nine-year period.
In his tenure at Samsung, the company saw major increases in revenue, profit, market share and brand value. Weedfald launched a Web advertising initiative that included a national network of 425 top-rated Web sites, a major national North American advertising and branding campaign and a comprehensive customer relationship management initiative.
Weedfald also established Samsung's Four Season’s of Hope charity campaign that brought together sports and music superstars with leading retailers (Best Buy, CircuitCity, CompUSA, Sears) to raise funds for various charities. The effort helped raise more than $7 million.