Samsung's CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun is the latest executive to step down following the arrest and sentencing of the head of the company, Jay Y. Lee for corruption in August of this year.
Kwon's resignation came as quite the surprise given the fact that the smartphone and electronics manufacturer also announced a record third-quarter operating profit on the same day. It was assumed that he would take on a larger role at Samsung after Lee's arrest in February which also led to the departure of a number of other key executives at the company.
64 year-old Kwon was the head of the company's components division and was viewed by many at Samsung Group as the person directly under Lee.
In a statement regarding his surprise departure, Kwon expressed his belief that it is time for the company to “start anew with new spirit and young leadership.” He also pointed out that Samsung's current successes are a direct result of the work done by the company's veterans, saying:
“We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments; we are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now.”
Despite hitting an all-time high earlier in the day, shares in Samsung fell 1.5 per cent following the news of Kwon's resignation likely as a result of the uncertainty that surrounds the group now that new leadership will be required.
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