Thursday, 19 October, 2017

Kwon bids adieu to Samsung Electronics Empire, says time for young leadership

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis' Samsung CEO Kwon to step down even as chip business thrives
Sherri Watson | 13 October, 2017, 20:23

But just when it seemed things were peaking, Samsung must deal with another setback after CEO and vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun announced that he is planning to step down from his role as CEO of Samsung and Samsung Display in March of 2018.

However, Samsung's legitimate business would appear to be ticking over nicely, with the company revealing its financial forecasts for the rest of the year. 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.

Samsung Electronics said Kwon will also retire from his board seat at Samsung Display Co.

Kwon has been working as de facto head of the company following the imprisonment of the Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong. "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".

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. That is Lee Kun-hee, son of the company's founder and Lee Jae-yong's father.

But in a sign of good news for the company, its estimated operating profits for the July-September period of 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) marked a record for quarterly profit, almost tripling the 5.2 trillion won earned a year earlier.

Samsung is set to release its final earnings report later this month.

"The results are good ones that largely meet market expectations", Kwon Sung-Ryul of Dongbu Securities told AFP.

Kwon first joined Samsung back in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the US.

The company's main products - DRAM and NAND memory chips used in smartphones - have also seen an increase in shipments and prices. 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. This business generates more profits compared to smartphone and other businesses.

The consumer electronics division would also benefit from strong seasonal demand, he added. 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.