Samsung boss resigns hours after company record profits

Kwon Oh-hyun was one of the smartphone producer’s three chief executives

  Kwon Oh-Hyun, co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics  , speaks during the company’s annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea. Photograph: Reuters

Kwon Oh-Hyun, co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics , speaks during the company’s annual general meeting at the Seocho office building in Seoul, South Korea. Photograph: Reuters

 

The chairman of Samsung Electronics’ board of directors and one of the company’s three chief executive officers says he will resign next year.

Kwon Oh-hyun said in a statement on Friday that he will resign as the head of the company’s semiconductor and component business and will not seek re-election on the board when his term expires in March.

The 65-year-old has been the face of Samsung in the absence of the company’s de facto chief, Lee Jae-yong. Lee was convicted of corruption and sentenced to five years in prison in August. Samsung has two other chief executives each overseeing its mobile phone business and home appliance division.

Even though Samsung reported its best-ever quarterly profit, Mr Kwon said Samsung is confronting unprecedented crisis and needs a new leader more than ever.

The surprise announcement came after the company said its third-quarter profit likely surged nearly three-fold over a year earlier to a new record high. In its earnings preview on Friday, Samsung put its July-September operating profit at 14.5 trillion won (€10.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won (€3.8 billion) a year earlier. Sales jumped 30 per cent to 62 trillion won (€46 billion). Analysts estimated 14.3 trillion won (€10.6 billion) in operating profit according to financial data provider FactSet.

The results put Samsung on track to report its best ever annual earnings. Analysts forecast Samsung’s 2017 net income nearly doubled from 2016. Still, the best is yet to come. They expect Samsung to outdo its annual financial results for the next few years thanks to an unprecedented boom in memory chips for mobile devices and servers.

Reuters