Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Kwon will leave the company in March 2018.

Samsung Electronics chief executive and vice chair Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from the company, describing the company as suffering from an 'unprecedented crisis inside out'.

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".

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

"I believe the time has come for the company to start anew with new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges", said Kwon in a statement. Kwon sent out a letter to employees to announce his resignation. "It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off", Kwon said in his letter.

That crisis is believed to be related to the ongoing bribery scandal surrounding Samsung, which recently saw the arrest of the company's heir and vice chairman Lee Jae-yong (also known as Jay Y Lee).

Lee, who was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to ousted president Park Geun-Hye's secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, is appealing his five-year sentence and says he is innocent.

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

According to the company, Kwon will also resign as CEO of Samsung Display. He later served as head of the division producing system semiconductors and then as head of the semiconductor business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012.

The CEO expressed hope that his retirement will become an opportunity for Samsung to take the next step forward. 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.

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.

Lee was arrested for bribery charges in February 2017.

Doh Hyun-woo, analyst at Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co. said in a report that the release of new models, including the iPhone X by rival Apple Inc. could weigh on Samsung's mobile sales, but will also help its smartphones parts business.