Commercial photographer, blogger, and long-time Hasselbald user Ming Thein has been named Hasselblad’s new Chief of Strategy, a move that is delighting the photo industry.
It’s an unfortunately reality that many (if not most) of the executives making major decisions for the photography giants are often not professional photographers themselves. This make sense: there’s very little overlap in skills between taking great pictures and helping to run a massive corporation.
In Thein, Hasselblad has found the best of both worlds: a well-respected professional photographer who has a background in operations and corporate strategy.
Before this move, Thein was already a Hasselblad ambassador and influential blogging voice when it comes to the direction of the market. “I already receive so much feedback and traffic regarding cameras, desires, wants, thoughts on Hasselblad etc,” explains Thein in his announcement post, “that it makes logical sense to both continue being the receptacle for that, but with a big difference: I will now be in a position to do something proactive with it.”
The question is: what will he do. Or, more pertinently: what will he be able to do. The answer, it seems, is “quite a lot.”
“My role is a very broad-based one: ostensibly, it’s about ensuring the correct customer experience that’s in line with the brand and the kind of expectations one has when spending several orders of magnitude on anything past ‘sufficient’,” he writes. “Where can we innovate with product offerings, and how do we create emotional design that’s both functional and just downright beautiful?”
Thein says he will have some influence over the product roadmap, and although he can share any details, he’s already teasing “something very, very interesting” coming later this year.
If the sudden departure of Hasselblad CEO and “knight in shining armor” Perry Oosting left us wondering if Hasselblad was in trouble, this announcement helps restore our faith, offering some concrete proof that the storied camera brand is, indeed, headed in the right direction. Good luck and godspeed Mr. Thein, we’ll be watching your work closely and rooting for you from the sidelines.
Image credits: Photograph courtesy of Hasselblad.