Samsung CEO to step down even as company expects to post record profits

Kwon Oh-hyun Kwon will step down when his tenure expires in March 2018.
Samsung CEO to step down even as company expects to post record profits
Samsung CEO to step down even as company expects to post record profits
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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.

Kwon's tenure expires in March 2018, Yonhap news agency reported. 

Indicating sharp recovery in earnings from last year's Note 7 fiasco, the South Korean tech giant said its third-quarter operating profit was expected to triple compared to the previous year, apparently on sound returns from its computer chip business.

"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," Kwon was quoted as saying.

"As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside and out, I believe that time has now come for the company to start anew. With a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry," he added.

Operating profit was estimated at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won tallied a year earlier, the company said in a regulatory filing.

Kwon, who also serves as the head of the device solution business, has been working as de-facto head of the company and conglomerate following the imprisonment of the company's heir Lee Jae-yong.

The CEO added that Samsung Electronics is facing a grave situation despite it making record-breaking earnings.

"(The earnings) are based on investment made in the past. But (at the moment) we are hard pressed to read future trends and find new growth engines," Kwon said.

Samsung did not announce the performance estimates of each business division, although the chip business is anticipated to have played a key role in the record-beating report. 

The guidance report indicates the overall operating margin for the third quarter came to 23.4 per cent, also setting a new record. 

The company is set to release its final earnings report later in October.

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