Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Hi-Tech | By Ellis Neal

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung has two other CEOs each overseeing its mobile phone business and home appliance division. While Samsung was battered a year ago following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it seems to have bounced back and will soon announce a much rosier financial position.

Amid claims Samsung Electronics is facing an "unprecedented crisis", CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun has announced he is stepping down from his role.

In a letter sent to all employees, Kwon said that announcing his retirement was the most hard thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company.

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.

Kwon first joined Samsung Electronics in 1985.

Samsung has announced the imminent departure of its CEO even as the company said it expected to post record profits of almost $13 billion in the third quarter.

The move comes just as Samsung has announced record profits, thanks largely to its memory chip business, prompting one industry analysts to describe its timing as "nonsensical". 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. "It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off", Kwon was quoted as saying.

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.

Analysts estimated 14.3 trillion won in operating profit according to financial data provider FactSet.

Lee - who took the reins of the company after his father's heart attack in 2014 - was found guilty of bribing a friend of former South Korea President Park Geun-hye to secure a merger that would tighten his grip on Samsung. His lawyers are now appealing the conviction.

Kwon's resignation could widen a leadership vacuum at Samsung. He will serve till his term as Samsung Electronics' chairman of the board ends in March 2018.

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