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Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun to retire after March 2018

13 October 2017

Ltd. announced Kwon Oh-hyun, CEO and vice chairman, had made a decision to step down from his role on October 13, 2017.

The specifics of that crisis were not revealed in "an emotional letter" (according to the Samsung press release) sent to all employees by Kwon, who seems to have more job titles than a medieval monarch.

He played a major role in strengthening Samsung Electronics' position in the memory chips business across the world. While Samsung was battered a year ago following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, it seems to have bounced back and will soon announce a much rosier financial position.

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Samsung has announced the imminent departure of its CEO even as the company said it expected to post record profits of almost $13 billion in the third quarter.

Friday's personnel announcement came shortly after the company said it was expecting to log 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in operating profits for the July-September quarter, an all-time record and almost three times the 5.2 trillion won of the same period a year earlier.

The "unprecedented crisis" Kwon referenced is the conviction of Lee earlier this year on bribery charges, landing the 49-year-old exec a five-year prison sentence.

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Amazingly, Kwon's move was announced almost simultaneously with Samsung's third-quarter guidance, which predicted a record operating profit due largely to its business of producing chips and other components for mobile devices-a division that Kwon helped build. Semiconductors accounted for $7.2 billion during the quarter, Reuters reported, marking the company's top-performing business. The leadership shakeups appear to have had little impact on Samsung's business, however, with the company forecasting a banner third quarter of $12.81 billion in operating profit. Sales jumped 30 per cent to 62 trillion won ($54.7 billion).

The boom allowed Samsung to dethrone Intel Corp., the long-time global chip leader, in the second quarter and has yielded record earnings for smaller chip rivals such as SK Hynix.

The company has a league of executives who manage day-to-day operations, but has usually relied on the leadership and the visions of founding family members for direction. Kwon will also be leaving his posts at the company's board of directors and Samsung Display, effective on March 2018. The former South Korean President - Geun-Hye Park - had been impeached for accepting bribes in exchange for political influence.

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Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun to retire after March 2018