SDM wishes the very best to Frank De Fina, executive vice president of Samsung Techwin, Ridgefield Park, N.J., who is leaving the company at the end of this week for personal reasons. 

The split is “amicable,” according to De Fina, who has more than 30 years industry experience, including a 26-year run at Panasonic, where he eventually became president of Panasonic System Solutions.

When De Fina arrived at Samsung in 2010, he was hired to oversee Samsung Techwin America, a new division, created when Korean-owned Samsung merged the video security products division of Samsung Electronics into Samsung Techwin. 

At the time of his hire, Samsung was not a major security and surveillance player in the North American market.  De Fina, an astute observer of the opportunities as well as the challenges that face security integrators in today’s market, said he feels good about what he has accomplished during his nearly five years at the company.  

During his time, he assembled an executive team of industry experts, initiated sales initiatives, established vendor partnerships, and launched reseller channels, while continuing to focus on how to best grow the brand.

“Four and a half years ago, almost five years ago, when I came here, it was literally and physically a shell, there was really no company, there was no team, but there were some pretty excellent products,” De Fina said. “When I came here, Samsung was great as a brand, but Samsung security was kind of obscure, and building the brand was the main focus, early on.  I will take credit for building a great team, but the credit for building the business goes to that team.” 

For example, five years ago, the company did not even appear on the IHS Inc. brand report.  “Samsung Techwin America is up 75 percent from last year,” De Fina reported. “I think we now not only appear on the IHS report, but I think we will go up a couple of notches on it.  Seventy-five percent is a great gain and I’m leaving it [Samsung Techwin America] in much better shape than when I found it. And the team is spectacular.” 

De Fina plans to take a break from the industry but he’s not calling it a retirement. “I’ve already ‘retired’ twice already,” he joked. “I want the industry to know I’m taking a breather. I’m not asking anyone to call me right now, but I still love and will continue to study this industry.  I would like to continue working in a consulting capacity.” 

 De Dina departs at the end of May. Samsung has not yet announced his replacement.