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Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun announces resignation

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Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun announced his resignation in a letter sent to employees, stating that “the time has now come for the company start anew”.

Kwon, who joined the company in 1985, will not seek re-election as a member of the board of directors and the chairman of the board when his term ends in March, 2018 and also resign as the chief executive officer of Samsung Display.

Kwon, who is one of three co-chief executives of Samsung Electronics, said in a statement:

 “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.

“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.”

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Kwon played an important role in Samsung’s advancement in the semiconductor industry. In 2013, Time Magazine listed him in the top 100 most influential people.

Kwon added:

“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world. We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other.”

“But now the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life.”

Ryan Lim, founding partner of the Singapore technology consultancy firm QED told the BBC that Samsung is in a leadership “crisis situation”.

Lim said that “the current management structure seems to be a complicated web that does not clarify, but rather confuses”.

“This needs to be resolved soon as it can be worrying not to know who is truly steering the Samsung behemoth into the future,” he added.