Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Grace Becker

Samsung CEO Announces Surprise Resignation Amid Profits, Growth

Samsung CEO Announces Surprise Resignation Amid Profits, Growth

Ltd. announced Kwon Oh-hyun, CEO and vice chairman, had chose to step down from his role on October 13, 2017.

However, Samsung's legitimate business would appear to be ticking over nicely, with the company revealing its financial forecasts for the rest of the year. Lee was convicted on corruption charges to five years in prison in August, along with four other former Samsung executives. "Lee's lawyers may argue that Samsung, with the veteran Kwon gone, needs its vice chairman back more than ever to lead the firm", he said, adding that the tactic had often been used by other family-run South Korean business empires.

"It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time", Kwon said in a statement.

"As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising in the rapidly changing IT industry", Kwon Oh-hyun, 65, said in a letter to employees.

He has represented Samsung Electronics at various occasions since the company's heir and vice chairman, Lee Jae-yong, 49, was jailed earlier this year.

The leadership shakeups appear to have had little impact on Samsung's business, however, with the company forecasting a banner third quarter of $12.81 billion in operating profit. Choi Gee-sung, Samsung's chief executive and president at the company's digital media division, also resigned earlier this year. He later become the President of the semiconductor division before becoming the CEO of Samsung in 2012 and the CEO of Samsung Display in 2016.

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"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".

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.

Lee was arrested for bribery charges in February 2017.

Kwon's resignation won't take into effect until March 2018, but Samsung will now have to find replacements to fill in the vacant roles in the company.

Samsung Electronics said Kwon will also retire from his board seat at Samsung Display Co.

Shares in Samsung Electronics were trading down 0.55 percent on heavy profit taking in mid-day trade.

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