The chairman of Samsung Electronics' board of directors and one of the company's three chief executive officers says he will resign next year. He said the company faces an "unprecedented crisis" despite the financial success.
His decision to resign comes at a time when the company tries to clean up its reputation amidst bribery case. Vice chair Lee Jae-yong, vice chair and heir to the company's controlling family, was arrested in February this year under charges of bribery including payments of around £29 million to Choi Soon-sil, confidant of South Korea's President Park Geun-hye, in exchange for the backing of a merger between two Samsung subsidiaries which chair Lee Kun-hee used to transfer control of the company to Jae-yong. The move came on Fridayas the smartphone maker forecast recorded Q3 operating profit because of the memory chip business, which Kwon was instrumental in building the company into the world leader.
Kwon also shared his sense of pride and honor with his employees, thanking them for their dedication and commitment to Samsung.
The announcement happened on the same day the South Korean based electronics company forecasted for recording breaking earnings in the third quarter.
Previously, the company Samsung for the first time surpassed Apple in terms of revenue for the three months. Operating profit is expected to leap to KRW 14.4-14.6 trillion from 5.2 trillion year-on-year. He also has served as the CEO of Samsung Display since 2016.
Chung Sun-sup, chief executive of research firm Chaebul.com, added that concern about lack of leadership at a time when Lee is absent from management is evident, adding that the leadership changes also could be an opportunity for a new generation to emerge.
Kwon's resignation won't take into effect until March 2018, but Samsung will now have to find replacements to fill in the vacant roles in the company.
Kwon Oh Hyun announced his retirement on October 13. Samsung's shares fell about 1.5 per cent on Friday in Seoul.