Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun Resigns Amidst “Unprecedented Crisis”

Big changes are afoot at the very top of Samsung after Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung Electronics’ CEO and Vice Chairman, announced his resignation.

He will step down from the CEO role and his positions on the board in March 2018. He will also resign as CEO of Samsung Display to boot.

Kwon will be leaving Samsung following the unfolding of what he called an “unprecedented crisis,” which no doubt refers to the imprisonment of Lee Jae-yong, who was, at the time at least, the top dog within the whole Samsung group. While Lee was not directly involved in the running of Samsung Electronics, this is the first indication that his highly publicized jailing will have an impact on the company.

“It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time. It has not been an easy decision, but I feel I can no longer put it off,” Kwon said in a letter sent to his employees. “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.”

Samsung Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong facing five years in prison following corruption charges

Kwon, aged 64, had held the position of Samsung Electronics CEO since 2012 and was named Samsung Display CEO in 2016. Having been with the company since 1985, Kwon leaves Samsung Electronics in a strong position having recovered remarkably well from the mauling it took following the failed launch and subsequent cancellation of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone. The Note 7 infamously had a tendency to explode and catch fire, causing damage to property around the world.

Samsung Electronics has announced that it expects record profits for the second quarter in succession.

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