Kwon Oh-Hyun, Samsung Electronics CEO, vice chairman and head of component business has announced that he is stepping down from ‘management’. Kwon in his statement explained that the decision comes as the company faces “unprecedented crisis”. The Vice Chairman will step down from his position on the board, as CEO of Samsung Display, in March 2018.
In a letter sent to employees, Kwon said that he has been thinking “long and hard about for quite some time” noting that it “hasn’t been an easy decision.”
“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,” he said.
The ‘unprecedented crisis’ in Kwon’s letter likely refers to the imprisonment of Lee Jae-Yong, the de facto leader of Samsung’s business empire. Lee was arrested in August and convicted on charges of bribery, embezzlement and perjury, sentencing him to a five-year term jail. Following Lee’s imprisonment, Kwon Oh-Hyun had been the company’s de-facto chief.
Samsung Electronics has announced earnings guidance that predicts a ‘second straight quarter of record profits’. The leading global tech company semiconductor business made a record of 8 trillion won ($7.20 billion) as per a Reuters report. Shares in Samsung, worth nearly about $350 billion fell 0.6 percent on Friday after hitting an all-time high earlier in the day, the report points out.
Kwon, however, notes that the current profit surge is due to the decisions made in the past, ‘casting doubts’ over company’s ability to ‘find new growth engines by reading future trends right now.’
“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other,” Kwon wrote in his letter.
“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.”
Kwon joined Samsung in the year 1985 as a researcher and was made CEO in 2012. He served as president and head of the System LSI Division and as president & head of Semiconductor business before joining as a CEO. He also rendered his service as CEO of Samsung Display since 2016.