Samsung Electronics CEO resigns, says company is in "unprecedented crisis" ars_ab.settitle(1186199)

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

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 Jae-yong's conviction was part of a bribery scandal that reached all the way to the president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, who was impeached a year ago is also serving time in prison.

Kwon's resignation announcement arrived the same day that Samsung predicted record profits for the second straight quarter.

Mr Kwon said he had been thinking about his departure "for quite some time" and could "no longer put it off". "We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other", Kwon added. Samsung Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon has chose to step down and leave his positions as vice chairman, board chairman and member, as well as CEO of Samsung display.

Kwon is stepping down as head of Samsung Electronics' device solutions division, which includes the semiconductor business, and will not seek re-election as a member of the company's board when his term ends next March. While the latest financial results show Samsung's business units operating smoothly, that in itself may present risks for Kwon, said Park Ju-gun, who tracks corporate executives at CEO Score. 'We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments.

Samsung announced yesterday that Kwon Oh-hyun will be resigning as the one of the company's CEOs. He is expected to deliver his letter of resignation to Lee Jae-yong and the board of directors soon.

Samsung today forecast bumper quarterly earnings, as it looked set for record operating profit for the period.

Kwon joined the company in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States.

The 65-year-old has been with the company for 32 years, and CEO of the company's hugely successful components business - including memory chips - since 2012.

  • Fernando Stephens