Windows Phone Marketing GM quits after 5 months, got “smoked by Windows Phone”

by: Bams SadewoApril 19, 2012
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When Gavin Kim joined Microsoft to become the GM of Marketing for Windows Phone, big expectations were set from the get go. Fresh from Kim’s successful stint in Samsung, Microsoft had hopes that the former Samsung executive could help bring Windows Phone to the top of mind of customers, so the pressure was on. Fast forward to today, and Kim has decided to call it quits after just five months on the job. Uh oh.

A spokesperson for Microsoft confirmed the news to ZDNet, saying that “Gavin Kim has made a personal decision to leave Microsoft.”  The official statement also said that, “We feel very good about the work he has done to set the team.” Eugene Ho has been chosen to take the lead from Kim.

What happens in Redmond stays in Redmond, and we can’t really tell what made Kim leave the company that is so eager to grow. We have a feeling he will be laying low for a good while as well. It was only last November that the newly appointed marketing head spoke to BGR about how he plans to “create more Windows Phone believers”. According to him, Windows Phone already has a good number of supporters that are passionate and vocal, so his job was to reflect that message in the company’s products and marketing collaborations with their partners.

“No one comes into the store asking for a Windows Phone” 

Five months probably aren’t enough time to turn things around for a brand that has been languishing in the bottom of the barrel, with Nielsen not even bother to list Windows Phone market share on its research of smartphone use in the US. Windows Phone’s share was lumped with other platforms and it was believed to be below 4%. The research, which was done in February, showed that Android phones were leading with 48%, followed by iPhones with 32%. No surprises there.

Lumia 900

One fair way to judge a person’s worth is by looking at the legacy that they leave behind. It seems Kim had somewhat succeeded in making Windows Phone an attractive purchase in customer’s eyes – regardless of the low price point of the phone. Reports from various AT&T stores suggest that the Lumia 900 has been selling quite well, with supply of the phone being outstripped by the high demand. This could be telling signs that Microsoft, with Kim’s help, has hit the jackpot or simply a case of the stores not stocking enough Lumia 900 in the first place. Or, quite simply the fact that Microsoft is hugely subsidizing the cost of the smartphone for both Nokia and AT&T, to help it achieve the magical $99 price point.

Of course, while you may think it, we don’t want Windows Phone to go anywhere. It represents a viable alternative in the increasingly competitive mobile arena. Without it, there are only two actors, and that doesn’t make for healthy competition. Have you ever had the chance to play with a Windows Phone? What are your perceptions? Let us know – yes you! Who shall reign supreme?

  • Ouch. And yeah, as much as I love Android, I can appreciate what Microsoft is doing with Windows Phone OS. I gave it a try for a week and it’s actually not bad at all.

    In some regards, it does things better than Android. Of course, weird multitasking issues and lack of apps made me rush straight back to Android. I wish Windows Phone the best only because strong competition can only make Android better =p

    • It’s at least nice to see Microsoft trying to bring something new and innovative instead of being like Apple and suing every phonemaker that comes along

      • Microsoft is notoriously litigious though Jinkle, make no mistake – they are more committed to bringing in revenue through whatever means possible. They are no patron saint when it comes to “not suing”, and in fact have special arrangements from most of the top tier Android makers, whereby they collect a “royalty fee” to make them exempt from being sued into oblivion by Microsoft’s viper tongued uber-lawyers.

    • That’s well said Chris. Microsoft certainly tried to brings some new thinking to the table, and it is a breath of fresh air in this regard. I wonder though, if the lack of apps, and the ‘late to the party’ status that it holds will ultimately hinder it from gaining enough critical mass to become a viable contender to the mighty two.

      Also man, love your videos and your articles! Big fan.

  • Somedude

    Nice hardware shame about the os , if Nokia eventually wakes up and comes to its senses and uses android before they go bankrupt people will actually buy them , who wants a phone with an inferior system on it.

  • AndroidBrian

    If a new OS ever want to truly get on the map there going to need a amazing phone. One that consumers must have, regardless to the OS short comings.. Every new OS will be criticized for lack of apps and everything it doesn’t do as well as other systems. Its not going to be easy to take consumers away from android and apple. So I mean like groundbreaking like a iPhone 2g was. This may never happen for decades to come. But like everyone else I wouldn’t mind seeing someone throw there hat in the ring w/ the 2 giants..

    Windows could be that third challenger but they need to revamp everything IMO. There entire marketing campaign is about being simple and saving time so ur not spending all day on your phone. People want the opposite of that. They want a phone that they can get addicted to, and play with all day. When u think simple for a phone I think of dumb simple minded. People want complex phone and read a bunch of specs they don’t understand. Its suppose to be easy to use because your phone is so smart it makes everything easy not just because its simple….. if that makes ne sense.

  • I use (and still prefer) Mobile 6.5 over Android for stability reasons, yet I really question the decisions under Gavin’s watch at Microsoft eg Discontinuing Win 6.5 Market Place, when Win Mobile 7.x is an absolute non starter esp. for business apps and Win Mobile 8.x is some months away from release, let alone wide spread adoption.

    To me a failed assignment made worse to the benefit of Android and Apple.

  • Dripping Metal

    I really want to like the windows OS, but ive heard so many mixed reviews. I will most likely be jumping on the windows bandwagon once windows 8 goes live.

  • With the coming W8 tablets, get ready for phone /tablet /pc integration on a Microsoft scale. Let’s not forget that the majority of software out in the marketplace is written for Windows. Tweaking them to integrate the three devices will be phenomenal