Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun quits companyLast updated on Oct 13, 2017, 11:15 am
In the latest blow to Samsung, Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has resigned from the company citing "unprecedented crisis".
This comes less than two months after the Samsung Group's heir apparent Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery and other crimes.
Incidentally, the chief executive's resignation came on right after Samsung predicted record quarterly profits on higher memory chip prices.
'Was thinking about it for quite some time'
Kwon Oh-hyun said: "As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company [to] start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry."
A brief look at Kwon Oh-hyun's stint at Samsung
64-year-old Kwon Oh-hyun joined Samsung in 1985. He led the semiconductor business before being made Samsung Electronics CEO in 2012 and Samsung Display CEO in 2016.
No successor has been announced yet, though they had two "co-CEOs" - BK Yoon and JK Shin - in the past.
Kwon Oh-hyun will continue serving on the board till March 2018.
First, Samsung had to deal with exploding phones, washing machines
Last year was a major fiasco for Samsung. It started with a series of Galaxy Note 7s exploding which eventually led to a recall.
Then some of its washing machines also exploded, triggering another recall.
As a result, it reported its worst decline in smartphone sales in its third quarter: global market share had fallen from 23.6% the previous year to 19.2%.
A crackdown on corruption eventually hit Samsung
Samsung was also involved in a major corruption scandal that rocked South Korea and led to the impeachment of former president Park Geun-hye.
Despite the lack of an official position, Park let close friend Choi Soon-sil access confidential documents.
Investigations uncovered questionable dealings of the political elite with conglomerates like Samsung and Lotte.
In August, Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong was held guilty in the case.
Now how will Kwon Oh-hyun's resignation affect Samsung?
Since Lee Jae-yong's sentencing, Kwon Oh-hyun had been the company's de-facto chief. His leaving might impact Samsung's operations.
Ryan Lim of consultancy firm QED says this leaves a question on "who is truly steering the Samsung behemoth into the future".
However, just before his announcement, the company predicted a record quarterly profit.
For now, Samsung has forecast a profit of $12.81bn for the quarter.