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Published: Sun, October 15, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Kwon bids adieu to Samsung Electronics Empire, says time for young leadership

Kwon bids adieu to Samsung Electronics Empire, says time for young leadership

While the latest financial results show Samsung's business units operating smoothly, that in itself may present risks for Kwon, said Park Ju-gun, who tracks corporate executives at CEOScore. He was arrested earlier this year on multiple charges of bribery, embezzlement, and perjury, and was ultimately sentenced to 5 years behind bars.

In a letter to the employees, Kwon said he is leaving to make way for an infusion of fresh blood in the management, one who will be better tuned to respond to the rapidly changing IT landscape.

For the third quarter, Samsung is expected to report operating profits up to 14.3 trillion won or $12.51 billion, according to Thomson Reuters analysts. "But (at the moment) we are hard pressed to read future trends and find new growth engines", Kwon said.

Kwon Oh-hyun is one of three Chief Executives at the technology firm, and his resignations comes in the midst of internal upheaval. Oh-Hyun Kwon will leave not only that post but also his positions as CEO of Samsung Display, head of the company's components arm, and Vice Chairman.

In response to the criticism, a spokesperson for Samsung Electronics told the BBC that a successor would be appointed "soon" but could not give a timeframe. But it could also encompass Samsung's recall fiasco with the Note7 smartphone past year, with the flagship smartphone having to be pulled off of market shelves due to a fire hazard with its charging mechanism.

Samsung shares were trading at a new record high of 2.74 million won as of Thursday, as investors bet on record earnings in 2017 driven by growing demand for memory chips with ever greater processing power. Samsung also leads in the next generation of screens called organic light-emitting diode (OLED), supplying them to Apple and other smartphone makers, even as it competes for dominance in the global market. As well as being chairman of the board and a board director, he heads the components business - including memory chips - and the display business.

Kwon will resign from the management board in March next year when his term ends, the company said.

Mr. Chip is not quitting the company immediately.

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