Samsung CEO steps down amidst 'unprecedented crisis'

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Ltd. announced Kwon Oh-hyun, CEO and vice chairman, had chose to step down from his role on October 13, 2017. Even though not explicitly mentioned, the obvious reference here is the arrest of the leader of the Samsung group, Lee Jae-yong along with four other top-ranking executives of the company on corruption charges.

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.

Strong global demand for DRAM chips will continue to outpace supply in 2018 as new plants from Samsung and No. 2 memory chip maker SK Hynix are not expected to operate until 2019, while demand for NAND flash chips exceeded supply for six straight quarters as of last month, DRAMeXchange, a division of data provider TrendForce, said. "It is something I had been thinking long and hard about for quite some time".

In a letter to the employees, Kwon said he is leaving to make way for an infusion of fresh blood in the management, one who will be better tuned to respond to the rapidly changing IT landscape.

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.

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Kwon, who had also served on the board of Samsung Electronics, had exercised oversight on the firm's booming memory chips business.

"We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments", he stated.

Kwon Oh Hyun announced his retirement on October 13. But the development coincided with the resignation of a key executive, Kwon Oh-hyu.

Park also said that although Samsung forecasts recording breaking earnings approaching, it presents risks to the management positions.

Kwon first joined Samsung back in 1985 as a researcher of the company's Semiconductor Research Institute in the US. He later served as head of the division producing system semiconductors and then as head of the semiconductor business before becoming CEO of the company in 2012.