Samsung Electronics CEO resigns, even as record profits expected

Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun Resigns, Says Company is Facing an 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung Electronics CEO resigns, says company is in “unprecedented crisis” ars_ab.settitle(1186199);

Vice chair Lee Jae-yong, vice chair and heir to the company's controlling family, was arrested in February this year under charges of bribery including payments of around £29 million to Choi Soon-sil, confidant of South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, in exchange for the backing of a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries which chair Lee Kun-hee used to transfer control of the company to Jae-yong. Lee was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in August.

This is a completely unrelated issue, apparently, which came to light earlier this week courtesy of a report which asserted that Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung's acting Chief Executive Officer of 32-years, will be resigning in March, 2018, citing an "unprecedented crisis" of vague proportions. He also served as president and head of the System LSI Division and as president and head of the Semiconductor Business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012.

Samsung Electronics says its third-quarter profit likely surged almost three-fold over a year earlier to a new record high.

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"But 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." added Kwon. Quarterly profits are forecast at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), an increase of almost 300% over the previous year.

It is noted that Samsung has long had serious problems. But it also announced the resignation of a key executive, Kwon Oh-hyu. Despite the spectacular performance, CEO Kwon said the company was in the throes of an "unprecedented crisis" as he announced his intention to step down.

Kwon is 65 and has been the face of Samsung in the absence of the company's de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong. Sales jumped 30 percent to 62 trillion won ($54.7 billion).

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"The company has been riding a global semiconductor boom", he said, adding the semiconductor business alone is believed to have contributed 10 trillion won to the operating profit.

Analysts forecast Samsung's 2017 net income almost doubled from 2016.

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