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Samsung CEO quits despite record profits

13 October, 2017, 20:23 | Author: Nadine Todd
  • Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee arrives at a court in Seoul South Korea

Kwon Oh-hyun, the Samsung Electronics vice chairman and CEO who led the company's profitable semiconductor business, announced his resignation on Friday, the same day the company projected record quarterly profit on the back of its component manufacturing.

Samsung did not announce the performance estimates of each business division but its semiconductor business is widely believed to have contributed greatly to the record-beating report. While Samsung was battered past year following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it seems to have bounced back and will soon announce a much rosier financial position. He will serve till his term as Samsung Electronics' chairman of the board ends in March 2018. He is expected to deliver his letter of resignation to Lee Jae-yong and the board of directors soon.

According to an email Kwon sent to the company last Friday, he said it was a decision he had been contemplating for a long time before adding, "As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry".

"It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time". 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.

Earlier Friday, Samsung said its July-September operating profit almost tripled over a year earlier to a new record, putting it on track to report its best annual financial results. Sales are expected to weigh-in at around 63 trillion Korean won, while operating profit is forecast to be about 14.6 trillion Korean won.

Kwon joined the company in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States.

Yonhap Infomax data, based on research from 21 securities firms, also showed Samsung is expected to post an operating profit of 16 trillion won in the fourth quarter, up 74 percent from a year earlier.

With its de facto leader gone, Samsung is clearly struggling at an executive level - and now it has lost vice chair and chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun, generally regarded as the second-most important person at the company behind Lee Jae-yong. Samsung hasn't given out information on the timing of succession, nor did it share who will take on Kwon's responsibilities when he leaves next year.

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