Samsung chief Kwon Oh-hyun steps down

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun

Samsung Electronics announced today that Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon plans to resign as the company's head of the Device Solutions Business and will not seek re-election as a member and chairman of the board when his term ends in March 2018.

Kwon will serve the company until his successor is found and the new management team is set.

"Samsung tipped record earnings, it is going to be better in the fourth quarter, and all that has been driven by Mr Kwon's components business", said Mr Park Ju Gun, head of research firm CEO Score.

The "crisis" alluded to in the letter has largely been read as a reference to the imprisonment of Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on bribery and corruption charges. "But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life".

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

The announcement comes after Samsung gave earnings guidance for a strong third quarter, saying it sees sales rising to KRW 61-63 trillion from 47.8 trillion the year before. Semiconductors were Samsung's top earner in the three months through June, making a whopping $7.20 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. But it could also encompass Samsung's recall fiasco with the Note7 smartphone past year, with the flagship smartphone having to be pulled off of market shelves due to a fire hazard with its charging mechanism.

With Kwon's resignation, there's uncertainty with the leadership at Samsung. Kwon Oh-hyun, who also serves as co-vice chairman, announced his retirement on Friday as the Suwon-based company reported record operating income of 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) on booming demand for displays and memory chips. Gee-sung stepped down after it become know he was allegedly involved in Lee's bribery scandal, according to Reuters.

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