Samsung Electronics (005930.KR) announced Friday its vice chairman and chief executive officer, Oh-Hyun Kwon, had decided to step down from management. The news came after the company earlier forecast better-than-expected third-quarter profits, amid roaring demand for its components.
In a letter sent to all employees, VKwon said that announcing his retirement was the most difficult thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company:
“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,” Vice Chairman Kwon said “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 had been the de-facto chief at the South Korean technology giant since the Samsung Group heir Jay Y. Lee was imprisoned on corruption charges.
Earlier, the company said it expects operating profit of KRW14.5 trillion ($12.8 billion) for the three months ended Sept. 30, a 179% increase from KRW 5.2 trillion for the same period a year earlier. Revenue is expected to come in at KRW 62 trillion, up from the prior year’s third quarter of KRW 47.82 trillion.
Shares in Samsung Electronics are down 0.5% at KRW2,725,000 a share in morning trading. They have gained 51.3% so far this year as strong pricing for NAND memory chips used in smartphones has driven revenue and profits higher.
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