New Delhi, October 13: After being a part of Samsung Electronics for more than three decades now, its Vice Chairman and CEO Oh-Hyun Kwon has decided to step down from management citing an “unprecedented crisis”. Kwon had been the company’s de-facto chief following the imprisonment of Jay Y. Lee on charges of bribery and embezzlement. In his letter to Samsung employees, Kwon said that the time was right for him to step down, and that it was in the best interest of the company. “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 said in the letter.

Kwon, who joined Samsung in 1985 as a researcher and was made CEO in 2012 said now the company needs a new leader more than ever. He said that is the time had come to “start anew with new sprit and young leadership”. “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,” Kwon said in a statement Friday. Reports state that the departure of 32-year Samsung veteran Kwon after five years comes at a time of leadership uncertainty at the company.

Samsung Group is South Korea’s top conglomerate with businesses ranging from smartphones to hotels. As per reports by Reuters, the surprise resignation of Oh-Hyun Kwon came as he was expected to take a bigger role following Lee’s arrest in February and the departures of other key executives in the wake of the bribery scandal. The company said, Kwon will resign from the management board in March next year when his term ends. Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score said, “The timing is nonsensical. Samsung tipped record earnings, it’s going to be better in the fourth-quarter, and all that’s been driven by Kwon’s components business”.