Samsung CEO quits in shock move after profits soar to record


"Lee's lawyers may argue that Samsung, with the veteran Kwon gone, needs its vice chairman back more than ever to lead the firm", he said, adding that the tactic had often been used by other family-run South Korean business empires.

Samsung announced yesterday that Kwon Oh-hyun will be resigning as the one of the company's CEOs. Quarterly profits are forecast at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), an increase of almost 300% over the previous year.

Kwon's resignation comes as the company struggles to overcome a bribery scandal that sent Lee Jae-yong, its de facto head and heir apparent to the Samsung empire, to jail.

Samsung Electronics chief executive and vice chair Kwon Oh-hyun has announced his resignation from the company, describing the company as suffering from an 'unprecedented crisis inside out'.

"I believe the time has come for the company to start anew with new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges", said Kwon in a statement.

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"(The earnings) are based on investment made in the past. Lee was convicted on corruption charges to five years in prison in August, along with four other former Samsung executives. 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 a year ago is also serving time in prison.

The big question this poses is: who else at the top of Samsung will also be contaminated by the scandal? 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. That is Lee Kun-hee, son of the company's founder and Lee Jae-yong's father.

Sales are expected to have surged 29.65 percent year-on-year to 62 trillion won, with the booming semiconductor business boosting the company's bottom line. "The results are good ones that largely meet market expectations", Kwon Sung-Ryul of Dongbu Securities said.

Samsung posted a record $9.6 billion in net income in the second quarter of 2017, easily beating analysts' estimates, due primarily to strong demand for its Galaxy S8 smartphone and demand for semiconductors. Both Samsung and Apple recently released new flagship smartphones.