Sunday, 22 October, 2017

Don't Slam the Door: Samsung Stable Despite CEO Departure

Samsung Forecasts Record Q3 Profits As CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis' Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun Resigns, Says Company is Facing an 'Unprecedented Crisis'
Lucas Bell | 14 October, 2017, 00:58

The CEO and vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics Kwon Oh Hyun announced Friday he plans to resign when his term ends in March, saying he believes that the time has come for the company to "start anew".

Along with his seat as the head of the chip arm, Samsung Electronics said Kwon will also retire from his board seat at Samsung Display Co.

Kwon Oh-hyun, who runs the Korean firm's chip and display division and has worked for Samsung in one capacity or another for 32 years, said in an October 13 statement that he believed in light of former head Jay Y. Lee's recent conviction for bribery charges and the related resignation of several board members, including Lee's mentor Choi Gee-sung, the smartphone maker "needs a new leader more than ever" and that it was time for him to move onto the "next chapter" of his life. Kwon claimed he had been thinking about leaving "for quite some time" and could "no longer put it off" - The BBC reports. "But (at the moment) we are hard pressed to read future trends and find new growth engines", Kwon said.

Samsung has been seeking to move past a bribery scandal that saw Lee thrown into jail, and to overcome a damaging recall a year ago of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries.

Shares in Samsung Electronics yesterday closed 1.46 percent down on heavy profit-taking.

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SK Kim, an analyst with Daiwa Capital Markets, said that Kwon's departure is unusual because when Samsung announces management changes, they typically take effect immediately.

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.

Kwon has been making major contributions to Samsung's chip business since his earlier years, leading the development of the world's first 64Mb-DRAM in 1992.

Lee Jae-yong was widely expected to succeed his father as head of the group. Semiconductors were Samsung's top earner in the three months through June, bringing in a record eight trillion won (S$9.6 billion).

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.

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