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(LEAD) Samsung Electronics CEO Kwon Oh-hyun to retire after March 2018

2017/10/13 11:12

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SEOUL, Oct. 13 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its Vice Chairman and chief executive officer Kwon Oh-hyun will not extend his current tenure in office, which expires in March 2018.

Kwon has been working as de facto head of the company following the imprisonment of the Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong. Samsung Electronics said Kwon will also retire from his board seat at Samsung Display Co.

"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 said in an English statement.

"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.

Kwon added the company 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.

The CEO expressed hope that his retirement will become an opportunity for Samsung to take the next step forward.

Samsung Electronics said Kwon plans to deliver his intention to Lee in the near future and recommend a successor.

Kwon first joined Samsung Electronics in 1985. He was appointed chief executive in 2012.