Samsung CEO to quit amid record profits

Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-Hyun Resigns, Says Company is Facing an 'Unprecedented Crisis'

"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.

The surprise announcement is more bad news for Samsung - coming just months after its heir apparent, Jay Y. Lee, was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery.

"We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments; we are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now".

Back at Samsung headquarters, Kwon said he will step down next March, when his term as board chairman ends. But it could also encompass Samsung's recall fiasco with the Note7 smartphone past year, with the flagship smartphone having to be pulled off of market shelves due to a fire hazard with its charging mechanism. Kwon has served as a vice chairman at Samsung Electronics since 2012 and also served as a senior executive at the company's display division since a year ago. 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. Samsung hasn't given out information on the timing of succession, nor did it share who will take on Kwon's responsibilities when he leaves next year. 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.

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A strong performance by the division, which supplies chips for rival phone makers like Apple, helped power the companies improved profits. He is also not stepping down immediately from his two other roles.

Kwon first joined Samsung Electronics in 1985.

While Samsung Group is South Korea's top conglomerate, with businesses ranging from smartphones to hotels - it has had no "Plan B" for taking big decisions following Lee's arrest, people familiar with the matter have said.

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