Verizon phones are locked down by Qualcomm. Efuses are built in by carrier spec in order to control network integrity through the limiting of lower level access. Samsung doesn't have a dog in the fight except the quantity of users vs other manufacturers. I'm sure he got fired because the galaxy line hasn't seen a major break through since the s3.
A design chief has absolutely nothing to do with the internals of a device or "locking" status, they simply "design" it - and this design didn't get favorable reviews. That's the reason most major tech sites (not CNN money) are saying he resigned.
XDA Developers was founded by developers, for developers. It is now a valuable resource for people who want to make the most of their mobile devices, from customizing the look and feel to adding new functionality. Are you a developer?