Kwon did not mention the scandal, but said the company now needed a new leader: "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". Kwon is also leaving his position as chief executive of Samsung Display, which he has held since 2016. Although Jae-yong denied the charges, he was sentenced to five years imprisonment in August - the harshest sentence ever handed down to a chaebol leader, the Korean name for the country's giant family-run conglomerates.
Kwon Oh-hyun said in a statement Friday that he will resign as the head of the company's semiconductor and component business and will not seek re-election on the board when his term expires in March. Kwon's departure from Samsung makes way for a new management that can finish the company's delayed reshuffle of its top executives.
'We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments.
"I am anxious about a leadership vacuum at a time when Lee is absent from management", said Mr Chung Sun Sup, chief executive of research firm Chaebul.com, following Mr Kwon's announcement. Kwon, who turns 65 on Sunday, plans to stick around for six months until a successor, most likely from inside the company, is installed. "Nobody wants to be the chief of Samsung at a time like this; it's too risky", said Park. Moreover, he also played a crucial role in expansion of the contract chip manufacturing business.
The release of new models, including the iPhone X by rival Apple Inc could weigh on Samsung's mobile sales, but will also help its smartphones parts business, Mirae Asset Daewoo Securities Co analyst Doh Hyun-woo said in a report.
Kwon's resignation announcement arrived the same day that Samsung predicted record profits for the second straight quarter.
Yet, Kwon insists that the strong profits don't reflect the current state of the company.