[THE INVESTOR] Rhee In-jong, former executive vice president at Samsung Electronics and creator of the Bixby artificial intelligence system, has recently joined Google to lead the US tech giant’s Internet of Things business.
“I’m thrilled and excited to tell you that I have joined Google as an EIR (Entrepreneur-In-Residence) to lead their IoT business,” he wrote in a Facebook post, adding that he will work under Diane Greene, Google’s cloud business chief and an Alphabet board member.
Since joining Samsung in 2011, Rhee played a pivotal role in upgrading Samsung’s software prowess, leading developments of key solutions like Bixby, Samsung Pay and the Knox security system.
He left Samsung in December last year for personal reasons despite generous offers. In a recent interview with a local daily, he said he wanted to spend more time with his family in the US.
“Samsung offered me a less stressful job but I wanted to do something that I had never tried before. I thought of testing myself at another global company,” he told Maeil Business Daily. “My new job has nothing to do with smartphones and Samsung,” he added.
He also dismissed reports about mixed reviews of Bixby, saying the user number has already outpaced those of rivals.
“It is regrettable that most criticism is not based on data. Of the monthly users of Apple’s Siri, only 11 percent use the service every day. The figure is 22 percent for Amazon’s Alexa and 25-30 percent for Samsung’s Bixby. More people use Bixby,” he said.
In an annual shake-up in November, Samsung combined the software and hardware development teams under its mobile business division. Rhee was in charge of leading the software team.
Ro Tae-moon, the hardware development team chief, has been leading the merged development unit.
By Kim Young-won (email@example.com)