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Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Samsung Electronics CEO Announces Resignation Amid 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Vice Chairman Kwon will be leaving Samsung after 32 years with the company.

His decision to resign comes at a time when the company tries to clean up its reputation amidst bribery case.

The "crisis" alluded to in the letter has largely been read as a reference to the imprisonment of Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on bribery and corruption charges. Kwon said he will not seek re-election as a member of the board of directors and chairman of the board when his term ends in March of next year.

"I am anxious about a leadership vacuum at a time when Lee is absent from management", said Mr Chung Sun Sup, chief executive of research firm Chaebul.com, following Mr Kwon's announcement.

"Because we are faced with an unprecedented crisis, I believe that the time has come, to a company headed by new leadership in order to better respond to the challenges arising in the rapidly changing IT industry", he said.

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While expressing concern that the company was "confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out", alluding to the conviction of its leader, Kwon said he hopes his resignation can be a good opportunity for the company to turn things around and make bold attempts at innovation. Samsung Electronics is the crown jewel of a conglomerate comprised of about 60 units selling life insurance, cargo ships and clothes.

The boost was driven by strong sales from Samsung's semiconductor business, which supplies memory chips for rival phone makers like Apple.

Kwon first joined Samsung back in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the US.

But the chip and display divisions led by Kwon fueled Samsung's stunning profit growth this year. For the third quarter of 2017, Samsung expects to make around 14.5 trillion won (around $12.8 billion) in operating profit off 62 trillion won (around $54.7 billion) in revenue, according to The Verge. "Nobody wants to be the chief of Samsung at a time like this; it's too risky", said Park.

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from the company.