Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun to retire after March 2018

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"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.

The "unprecedented crisis" is apparently a reference to Samsung Group's de facto leader and Vice Chairman, Lee Jae-yong (aka, Jay Y. Lee) being sentenced to five years in prison after being found guilty of bribery, embezzlement, capital flight, and perjury charges.

Kwon plans to resign as head of Samsung's semiconductor and component business and will not seek re-election on the company's board when his term expires in March, Samsung said in a statement.

The Telegraph reports that 32-year Samsung veteran Kwon Oh-hyun announced his departure in a letter to staff. "It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off", said Kwon.

While expressing concern that the company was "confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out", alluding to the conviction of its leader, Kwon said he hopes his resignation can be a good opportunity for the company to turn things around and make bold attempts at innovation.

"The results are good ones that largely meet market expectations", Dongbu Securities Co analyst Kwon Sung-ryul said.

Experts equally noted that the company was making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments and that the firms are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now.

Samsung will lose another major executive soon.

Yet, Kwon insists that the strong profits don't reflect the current state of the company. 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. But it could also encompass Samsung's recall fiasco with the Note7 smartphone previous year, with the flagship smartphone having to be pulled off of market shelves due to a fire hazard with its charging mechanism.

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