Despite record profit, Samsung CEO plans to quit

Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun

He played a major role in strengthening Samsung Electronics' position in the memory chips business across the world.

Lee's father, Lee Kun-hee, who still retains the chairman title, has been bedridden since 2014 due to health problems, and Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to five years in prison in August for bribing former President Park Geun-hye.

Ltd. announced Kwon Oh-hyun, CEO and vice chairman, had made a decision to step down from his role on October 13, 2017. "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".

Yonhap Infomax data, based on research from 21 securities firms, also showed that Samsung is expected to post an operating profit of 16 trillion won in the fourth quarter, up 74 percent from a year earlier.

Kwon announced his decision in a letter to Samsung employees.

The chairman of Samsung Electronics' board of directors and one of the company's three chief executive officers says he will resign next year. Analysts forecast Samsung's 2017 net income almost doubled from 2016 and they expect Samsung to outdo its annual financial results for the next few years, thanks to its position as the world's largest maker of the semiconductor group known as memory chips that are used for mobile devices and computer servers.

Still, Kwon's announcement was unexpected, especially with the company making record profit from its semiconductor business, and the group is now left without a leader.

In its earnings preview on Friday, Samsung put its July-September operating profit at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) a year earlier. Lee Jae-yong's conviction was part of a bribery scandal that reached all the way to the president of South Korea, Park Geun-hye, who was impeached previous year is also serving time in prison. Kwon's departure from Samsung makes way for a new management that can finish the company's delayed reshuffle of its top executives.

Kwon's resignation could widen a leadership vacuum at Samsung. His lawyers are now appealing the conviction.

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