Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
IT | By Lester Massey

Head of Samsung semiconductor unit to resign

Head of Samsung semiconductor unit to resign

But with reports saying that both Apple and Google are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into LG's display division, Samsung's dominance in OLED display tech may not continue on for too much longer.

Even as Samsung expects to post record profit, its Vice Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Kwon Oh-hyun on Friday said he will step down from the position next year.

In a letter sent to all employees, Kwon said that announcing his retirement was the most hard thing for him to do, but now was the right time and that he believes his decision is in the best interest of the company.

Kwon joined Samsung in 1985 as a researcher in the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the United States. 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.

"There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world", Kwon said in an email to Samsung employees.


Kwon, however, thinks Samsung is in crisis and urgently needs to find new ways to fuel growth before the record-breaking performance resulting from earlier decisions fades. Sales are expected to weigh-in at around 63 trillion Korean won, while operating profit is forecast to be about 14.6 trillion Korean won. 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.

Samsung did not name a successor to Kwon. Kwon's departure from Samsung makes way for a new management that can finish the company's delayed reshuffle of its top executives.

Lee was arrested over allegations of inappropriate payments to South Korea's former president Park Geun-hye, via front companies connected to the disgraced politician, whose residence is now Seoul Detention Center.

Lee Jae-yong is the son of Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung Group, and is seen as the company's heir apparent. Hearings on his appeal and those of four other convicted Samsung executives began October 12.

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