Today, Samsung Electronics CEO and Vice Chairman, Kwon Oh-hyun, has announced his resignation. He will be stepping down from his position as the company's CEO, along with his positions on the board and as CEO of Samsung Display in March 2018. This decision is quite surprising, considering the tech giant expects profits to exceed expectations this quarter.
In a letter to his employees, Kwon detailed the reasons that had led him towards making this important decision:
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. 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.
Undoubtedly, the imprisonment of Samsung's former Vice Chairman less than two months ago is part of this ''crisis inside out''. It will be interesting to see whether the scandal has even more of an impact on the company's day-to-day operations.
Considering that Samsung Electronics' share price has risen dramatically - and that it is currently the most profitable tech company in the world - makes this decision all the more harder to comprehend. Interestingly, however, Kwon mentioned that the company's current success is due to "past decisions and investments", also noting the company's inability to predict future trends at the moment.
Kwan first joined the company in 1985, and has since risen up the ranks, becoming Samsung Electronics' CEO in 2012. Samsung has not yet announced a successor to the highly sought positions his resignation has left up for grabs.