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Samsung Electronics CEO Resigns, Company Facing ‘Unprecedented Crisis’

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Amid claims Samsung Electronics is facing an “unprecedented crisis,” CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun has announced he is stepping down from his role.

In a letter to employees, Kwon noted that as the firm is “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’s likely referring to the arrest of Lee Jae-Yong, the de facto head of Samsung Group; the 49-year old leader was imprisoned in August after he was found guilty of bribery and embezzlement.

The news follows Samsung Electronics’ prediction of record profits for its third quarter: it estimates that it’ll rake in $12.8 billion USD, which works out to a 179 percent increase from the same period a year ago, reads a report from Bloomberg.

A few hours before Kwon dropped the bombshell, Samsung Electronics said it expected profits for the last quarter to be at an all-time high, mostly thanks to the increase in memory chip prices. Sales of the Galaxy Note 8, which received more pre-orders than any other phone in the Note line, also helped boost the numbers.

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 last year of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries.

Lee, who was found guilty in August of bribery, perjury and other charges relating to payments made by Samsung to ousted president Park Geun-Hye’s secret confidante Choi Soon-Sil, is appealing his five-year sentence and says he is innocent.

The future of Samsung Group’s biggest earner hangs in the balance. The company will have to work quickly to find successor; Kwon will only serve as a member of the board, as well as the CEO of Samsung Display, until March 2018.

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  • It’s amazing they can lead the industry while dealing with so much drama.

  • FragilityG4

    I wonder if people thought the same of Enron ????

  • Riley Freeman

    whats the issue, apple is still there. They can continue copying them without a CEO. lol

  • lol.You know what I mean though? There would be no mobile industry without Samsung. They make the parts and technology everybody else uses.

  • Romdude

    Apple is the one copying Samsung at the moment with the expanding batteries lol

  • FragilityG4

    Oh for sure and I’m guessing if things go south they would have a lineup of companies whiling to purchase divisions. But I don’t see it going that route.

  • FragilityG4

    Hey, hey, hey there’s a difference between expanding and exploding Hahaha!

  • awkpain

    It wasn’t that long ago that Apple won a 120 million patent case against Samsung. The world is full of copying, enhancing, etc. I get so tired of folk trying to use that to show how terrible one company is when compared to a company guilty of the same crime. It’s everywhere… that’s part of globalization.

    I’m curious what will change under slightly younger leadership.

  • Riddlemethis

    Or Trump

  • Riddlemethis

    that’s quite narrow vision you have. Samsung is not irreplaceable. Yes they many mobile components but someone can take over. personally. I despise Samsung almost as much as I despise Trump.

  • Riddlemethis

    Samsung never understand the importance of people, ethics, customer service and the synergy between hardware and software. I know there are many more examples, I just mentioned a few that are important to me.

  • Riley Freeman

    you get that i meant samsung can continue copying apple?

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