Samsung CEO Stepping Down To Let Company 'Start Anew' After 'Unprecedented Crisis'


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The leadership upheaval at Samsung Electronics is set to continue with the resignation of CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, who said he is stepping down in March because "the company needs a new leader more than ever."

Kwon, who will also be departing his role as CEO of Samsung Display at that time, has served as CEO of the South Korean tech giant since 2012 and as vice chairman since 2011.

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The resignation follows the August sentencing of Samsung's de facto leader, Jay Y. Lee, to five years in jail in connection with a bribery scandal that also toppled South Korea's former president, Park Geun-hye.

Kwon seems to allude to the scandal in announcing his reasons for resigning. "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," he said in the Samsung news release.

Despite the leadership issues, as well as the disastrous launch of the fire-prone Galaxy Note7 a year ago, Samsung is producing strong financial results. The company said this week that it expects record revenue and profits of $54.7 billion and $12.8 billion, respecitvely, for its third quarter.

Major launches by Samsung this year have included the Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus smartphones, the Galaxy Book 2-in-1 and the Galaxy Note8.

In the news release, Kwon said Samsung—where he has worked since 1985—has "come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other."

"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," he said.

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