Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from management and will be formally stepping down in March 2018.
Kwon has not specified any reason for the shock decision, although he reportedly wrote about an "unprecedented crisis" in the company in an internal letter sent to employees. While he has not elaborated on what the crisis was, it is being speculated that he could have meant the charges against the heir to the Samsung empire, Lee Jae-yong. Lee was found guilty of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison in August.
Kwon is reportedly known as "Mr Chip" in the company, and is credited with the growth of Samsung as a chip and memory component maker. The profits the company makes from its component business is more than what it makes from mobile phones and related accessories, notes Indian publication The Economic Times.
"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," wrote Kwon. "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."
While there was no indication that Lee took any major role in the electronics wing of the company, it is being reported that Kwon's resignation could be a sign that the scandal has an impact within the upper echelons of Samsung's management.
Samsung has posted a record third quarter profits and has surged nearly three-fold compared to its previous record third quarter, says a report by Gadgetsnow. Samsung is on the way to post its best-ever annual results, says the report.
"We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments; we are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now," Kwon was quoted as saying by the Economic Times.
At the time of writing this report, it was not clear who would be taking over from Kwon Oh-hyun as CEO.