Samsung Electronics CEO resigns, says company is in "unprecedented crisis" ars_ab.settitle(1186199)
Oct 13 2017 by Joanne Wise
In a shocking announcement, Kwon Oh-hyun said he will step down as the South Korean tech giant's vice chairman and CEO of Samsung Display. Friday's personnel announcement came shortly after the company said it was expecting to log 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in operating profits for the July-September quarter, an all-time record and almost three times the 5.2 trillion won of the same period a year earlier.
"I believe the time has come for the company to start anew with new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges", said Kwon in a statement. He later served as head of the division producing system semiconductors and then as head of the semiconductor business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012.
Earlier Friday, Samsung said its July-September operating profit almost tripled over a year earlier to a new record, putting it on track to report its best annual financial results. While Samsung was battered previous year following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it seems to have bounced back and will soon announce a much rosier financial position.
Kwon added the company is facing a grave situation despite it making record-breaking earnings.
Samsung has announced the imminent departure of its CEO even as the company said it expected to post record profits of almost $13 billion in the third quarter.
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"Now, the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life", Kwon said. Sales jumped 30 per cent to 62 trillion won ($54.7 billion).
Kwon announced his decision in a letter to Samsung employees. Kwon's departure from Samsung makes way for a new management that can finish the company's delayed reshuffle of its top executives.
"Kwon himself might have thought over the issue for a long time", a Samsung spokesperson said, "but the notice itself was a surprise internally as well". The group has not made any radical changes in its leadership since 2014 when the current chairman Lee Kun-Hee suffered a heart attack that left him bedridden.
South Korea's largest company has been seeking to move past a bribery scandal that saw Lee thrown into jail, and to overcome a damaging recall previous year of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries.