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Samsung CEO to quit amid record profits

Samsung CEO to quit amid record profits

In his statement, Kwon said he chose to leave Samsung because the company is facing an "unprecedented crisis". Kwon has served as a vice chairman at Samsung Electronics since 2012 and also served as a senior executive at the company's display division since a year ago.

His decision to resign comes at a time when the company tries to clean up its reputation amidst bribery case. We're not talking about the company's self-described "dismal state", or another Galaxy Note device gone up-in-flames, or the tech-giant's latest debacle, which saw its chairman Lee Jae-yong imprisoned for five years following his sentencing on charges of bribery, corruption, and perjury.

The "unprecedented crisis" that Kwon may be alluding to is the arrest of Lee Jae-yong, the de facto leader of the Samsung.

"Kwon himself might have thought over the issue for a long time", a Samsung spokesperson said, "but the notice itself was a surprise internally as well".

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In a letter to employees, Kwon noted that as the firm is "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 will leave the company in March, when his term as chairman of Samsung Electronics ends. Operating income nearly tripling to a record 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) in the three months ended September, according to preliminary results. Mark Newman, senior research analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein said Kwon's top deputies, President J.K. Shin, who is in charge of mobile products, or Kim Ki-nam, president of Samsung's semiconductor business, may succeed Kwon.

In its earnings preview on Friday, Samsung put its July-September operating profit at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), compared with 5.2 trillion won ($4.6 billion) a year earlier.

Kwon first joined Samsung Electronics in 1985. Before he became one of Samsung's CEOs in 2012, he also served as the president and head of both the System LSI Division and the Semiconductor Business.