Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Surprise Resignation

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee arrives at a court in Seoul South Korea Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee arrives at a court in Seoul Thomson Reuters
Juana Turner | 14 October, 2017, 00:28

Samsung Electronics Co chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun yesterday resigned, saying that the South Korean tech giant was facing an "unprecedented crisis", even as it expected profits to hit an all-time high in the third quarter. Kwon will also resign as the CEO of Samsung Display.

His decision to resign comes at a time when the company tries to clean up its reputation amidst bribery case.

And its de facto leader Jay Y. Lee was found guilty of bribery and corruption charges related to a far-reaching scandal that resulted in the ouster of former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Kwon would serve out his term as chairman of the board and board director until March 2018, the company said.

"Because we are faced with an unprecedented crisis, I believe that the time has come, to a company headed by new leadership in order to better respond to the challenges arising in the rapidly changing IT industry", he said. "It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off".

"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". Kwon, who turns 65 on Sunday, plans to stick around for six months until a successor, most likely from inside the company, is installed.

Kwon first joined Samsung back in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the US. Moreover, he also played a crucial role in expansion of the contract chip manufacturing business.

The CEO expressed hope that his retirement will become an opportunity for Samsung to take the next step forward.

However, in a sign of good news for the company, its estimated operating profits for the third quarter of 14.5 trillion won (US$12.8 billion) marked a record for quarterly profit, almost tripling the 5.2 trillion won earned a year earlier.

Shares in Samsung Electronics closed 1.46 percent down Friday on heavy profit-taking.

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from the company.

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