Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Head of Samsung's sizzling electronics unit announces surprise resignation

Head of Samsung's sizzling electronics unit announces surprise resignation

Vice Chairman Kwon will be leaving Samsung after 32 years with the company.

"As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company (to) start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry", Kwon said.

Samsung expects to pull in 62 trillion won ($54.9 billion) in revenue and 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in profit for the three months ending September 30, a near 300% increase in profit compared to the same period a year ago.

He's likely referring to the arrest of Lee Jae-Yong, the de facto head of Samsung Group; the 49-year old leader was imprisoned in August after he was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement. 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.

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.

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'.

Samsung has two other CEOs, each overseeing its mobile phone business and home appliance division. "But (at the moment) we are hard pressed to read future trends and find new growth engines", Kwon said.

The specifics of that crisis were not revealed in "an emotional letter" (according to the Samsung press release) sent to all employees by Kwon, who seems to have more job titles than a medieval monarch. It had previously been thought that he might take one for the team and contain the scandal by doing some time, but Kwon's resignation implies that strategy has failed.

Samsung posted a record $9.6 billion in net income in the second quarter of 2017, easily beating analysts' estimates, due primarily to strong demand for its Galaxy S8 smartphone and demand for semiconductors. Kwon also said he won't seek reelection as a member of the company's board of directors once his term ends in March. Hearings on his appeal and those of four other convicted Samsung executives began October 12.

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