Samsung’s CEO Kwon Oh-hyun has decided to step down after serving the company for more than three decades. Kwon was also one of the two vice chairmen at Samsung Electronics with Jay Y. Lee. Mr Lee was sentenced to five years in prison in August for bribing a presidential confidante.
The resignation was a surprise as Mr Hyun was expected to take additional responsibilities after Jay. Y. Lee’s indictment. Also the timing of the decision does make any sense. Samsung has managed record earnings, and it’s expected to get better in the last quarter.
Kwon told Samsung employees in a letter that the time was right for him to step down, and that it was in the best interest of the company.
” “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, he said in the letter to the employees. “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” the letter added.
Most likely the “crisis” in Kwon referred to is about imprisonment of Lee Jae-yong. It was expected that conviction will lead to cultural and organisational changes in Samsung, but few may have expected to start it at top.
The farewell letter seemed to have recognised the health of the enterprise calling it an opportunity. “I want my resignation to be an opportunity for a higher level of challenge and innovation and to overcome this difficult situation”