Economy

Head of Samsung semiconductor unit to resign

Head of Samsung semiconductor unit to resign

"Because we are faced with an unprecedented crisis, I believe that the time has come, to a company headed by new leadership in order to better respond to the challenges arising in the rapidly changing IT industry", he said.

Kwon had emerged as the public face of Samsung Electronics after Jay Y Lee, grandson of the company's founder, was detained on corruption charges and then sentenced to five years in prison in August amid a scandal that brought down South Korea's president.

Kwon, a semiconductor engineer, has met with President Moon Jae-in and attended events both at home and overseas since Lee was detained in February on corruption charges.

The chairman of Samsung Electronics' board of directors and one of the company's three chief executive officers says he will resign next year.

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"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 said.

Samsung has had a long tradition of stressing crisis even in good times for the business. But in a sign of good news for the company, its estimated operating profits for the July-September period of 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) marked a record for quarterly profit, almost tripling the 5.2 trillion won earned a year earlier. Kwon's resignation comes as the company struggles to overcome a bribery scandal that sent Lee Jae-Yong, its de facto head and heir to the Samsung empire, to jail. Samsung has been seeking to move past a bribery scandal that saw the company's de facto head Lee Jae-Yong thrown into jail, and to overcome a damaging recall a year ago of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries. "Samsung tipped record earnings, it's going to be better in the fourth-quarter, and all that's been driven by Kwon's components business", said Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score. If Kwon is right, Samsung won't catch up anytime soon. Sales are expected to weigh-in at around 63 trillion Korean won, while operating profit is forecast to be about 14.6 trillion Korean won.

Analysts forecast Samsung's 2017 net income almost doubled from 2016.

Kwon's resignation announcement arrived the same day that Samsung predicted record profits for the second straight quarter.


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