Samsung's mobile chief product officer Kevin Packingham has quietly left the company, The New York Times reports. Mobile industry veteran Packingham joined Samsung's US division in 2011, one year before the release of the Galaxy S III, which positioned Samsung as a competitor to Apple with a massive advertising blitz. No reason was given for his departure, and it's not known whether he was pushed out or left of his own accord. A spokesman told the Times only that "Kevin Packingham has departed Samsung Mobile. We thank Kevin for his contributions and wish him well in his future endeavors."

Before Samsung, Packingham worked for Sprint-Nextel, then founded a startup meant to help bring Huawei to the US. At Sprint, he helped negotiate the release of the Palm Pre, Epic 4G, and Evo 3D, working with manufacturers to develop the phones and bring them to market. The Samsung phones released under his watch have been unmitigated successes, and the Times notes that he also helped make deals that let Samsung release its big-name phones on every major US carrier. Less favorably, he presided over the company's US mobile division during a protracted patent battle with Apple — during which he criticized the proceedings as "fighting over rectangles."