Samsung Elec­tron­ics boss quits over ‘un­prece­dented cri­sis’

Iran Daily - - International -

The chief ex­ec­u­tive of Samsung Elec­tron­ics re­signed, with a warn­ing that the South Korean tech­nol­ogy gi­ant is in the throes of an “un­prece­dented cri­sis”.

Kwon Oh-hyun an­nounced his de­ci­sion to step down on Fri­day, when the com­pany es­ti­mated that its quar­terly prof­its from July to Septem­ber will reach a record high of 14.5 tril­lion won (£9.6bn), Sky News re­ported.

Although Samsung is reap­ing the re­wards of a con­tin­ued boom in the mem­ory chip in­dus­try, it is also strug­gling to over­come a bribery scan­dal.

The com­pany’s heir and de facto head, Lee Jae-yong, was jailed for five years in Au­gust af­ter be­ing con­victed of of­fer­ing bribes to South Korea’s for­mer pres­i­dent Park Geun-hye.

Kwon – af­fec­tion­ately known as “Mr. Chip” - has been with the com­pany for 32 years, and chief ex­ec­u­tive of Samsung’s hugely suc­cess­ful com­po­nents busi­ness since 2012.

In a state­ment, the 65-year-old said: “For­tu­nately, the com­pany is now pro­duc­ing best-ever re­sults but this is merely a fruit of de­ci­sions and in­vest­ment made in the past.

“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 in the rapidly chang­ing IT in­dus­try.”

Samsung has two other chief ex­ec­u­tives who over­see its mo­bile phone busi­ness and home ap­pli­ance di­vi­sions.

In Au­gust, the smart­phone gi­ant looked to leave its ex­plod­ing phone dis­as­ter be­hind with the launch of its new Galaxy Note 8.

It was forced to sus­pend sales of its Galaxy Note 7 last year af­ter some caught fire when the bat­tery ex­ploded.

Kwon will re­main on the board of Samsung Elec­tron­ics un­til March 2018, and his res­ig­na­tion could widen a lead­er­ship vac­uum at the com­pany.

Fol­low­ing news of Kwon’s de­par­ture, one an­a­lyst de­scribed the tim­ing of his an­nounce­ment as “non­sen­si­cal”.

Prices of mem­ory chips have sky­rock­eted glob­ally due to the grow­ing use of so­cial me­dia, mo­bile data, cloud com­put­ing and the emerg­ing in­ter­net of things, which have com­bined to leave sup­plies tight. In the sec­ond quar­ter, Samsung de­throned In­tel Corp. as the world’s big­gest chip man­u­fac­turer.

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun

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