Samsung is in meltdown mode after CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, who has worked at the company for 32 years, announced his resignation today, citing an “unprecedented crisis.”
Kwon Oh-hyun will officially step down as chief executive and vice chairman in March. The news comes not long after Samsung’s vice chairman was sentenced to five years in prison for corruption, the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, but also just as Samsung is projecting record quarterly profits.
“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,” Kwon Oh-hyun said in a letter to Samsung employees. “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.”
No successor has yet been announced. However, it opens up the possibility of fresh blood joining Samsung at the top of the company.
Samsung is expected to announce revenues of around 62 trillion won ($54 billion) this quarter. That’s an increase from the 47.8 trillion won this time last year. Operating profits for this quarter are likely to be around three times what they were for the same window in 2016, thanks to record demand for the Note 8 and the iPhone components it has provided to Apple.