Samsung CEO steps down amid 'unprecedented crisis'

Samsung Forecasts Record Q3 Profits As CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from management and will be formally stepping down in March 2018. 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.

Kwon is one of the two vice chairpersons at Samsung with Jay Y. Lee, who was sentenced to five years in prison in August for bribing a presidential confidante in return for help in succeeding his hospitalised father, chairperson Lee Kun-hee.

Based on the earnings guidance Samsung has released for the third quarter of 2017, the Korean conglomerate is set to make a new record.

Still, Kwon's announcement was unexpected, especially with the company making record profit from its semiconductor business, and the group is now left without a leader.

Samsung expects to pull in 62 trillion won ($54.9 billion) in revenue and 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in profit for the three months ending September 30, a near 300% increase in profit compared to the same period past year. He said the company is "confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out" and needs "a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges".

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

Samsung will lose another major executive soon. However, according to Reuters, he also stated that even though Samsung is currently enjoying record profits, "We are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now". 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.

With Kwon's resignation, there's uncertainty with the leadership at Samsung. "Nobody wants to be the chief of Samsung at a time like this; it's too risky", said Park.

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd said on Friday its third-quarter operating profit likely almost tripled from a year earlier to a new record, beating analyst estimates, as strong memory chip prices fattened margins.

At the time of writing this report, it was not clear who would be taking over from Kwon Oh-hyun as CEO.

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