Samsung is one of the most recognized electronics companies in the world, and in the Android space, it's Galaxy S and Note series are two of the most popular on the entire market. Samsung's sales for 2017 has been consistently strong, but despite this, big changes are happening under the surface. Most recently, Samsung's CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun, has announced that he's resigning from his position at the company.
Along with his role as Samsung Electronics' CEO, Kwon Oh-hyun also serves as the CEO and board member for Samsung Display. He's set to resign from all of his roles in March of 2018, and part of his resignation letter reads as follows:
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. 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"
Notice Oh-hyun's mention of the "unprecedented crisis." Although he doesn't disclose exactly what this crisis is in his resignation letter, it's safe to say that this is in reference to Lee Jae-yong prison sentencing earlier this year. Lee Jae-yong was an heir to Samsung, and he was faced with a prison sentence of five years this past August for totaling bribes of $6.4 million USD with four other executives within the company.
It wasn't clear at the time as to how this would impact Samsung going forward, but Kwon Oh-hyun's resignation seems to be the first sign of its ripple effect.
In another part of his letter, Oh-hyun continues by saying:
There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other. But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life
Kwon Oh-hyun first started working at Samsung back in 1985, and 27 years later, was appointed to CEO in 2012. Samsung has yet to announce who will be replacing Oh-hyun, and it'll be interesting to see how his departure has an impact on the company. Samsung managed to recover remarkably well following the Galaxy Note 7 debacle, and Oh-hyun undoubtedly played a big role in that entire event. Whether or not this is a good move for Samsung is something we'll have to wait for and see for ourselves.
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