Among exploding phones, recalled washing machines and an indicted former chairman, Samsung has had a rough year. Just as they start to get back on track, they have one more crisis to deal with.
Kwon Oh-hyun, Samsung CEO, has officially announced his departure.
In a letter to the employees, Kwon announced his plans to leave the company by March of next year. His words touch on all of the typical sentiments, like that he “had been thinking long and hard about (leaving) for quite some time,” and that he wants to “move on to the next chapter in his life.”
What Kwon doesn’t make clear are his exact reasons for leaving.
He mentions that Samsung is in an “unprecedented crisis inside and out,” without sharing any specifics. Via his own words, Samsung needs to reshape their company to keep up with the ever-changing IT industry.
Kwon believes that young, fresh leadership could be the answer that Samsung needs.
Though Kwon’s departure may seem like another hit for the company, it could be a new chapter for Samsung as well.
And it is a change they desperately need. Recently, Samsung has made the headlines with scandal after scandal.
Earlier this year, Jay Y. Lee, former Vice chairman, was found guilty on multiple charges of bribery. The charge, which Lee is now serving five years in prison for, also resulted in the impeachment of South Korean President Park Geun-hye.
Samsung also lived through two major recalls this year. They officially took the Galaxy Note 7 off of the market after various accusations of batteries overheating led to fires.
Samsung also recalled 2.8 million washing machines because their “violent vibrations” caused some users to be injured.
Major scandals like these are enough for any company to flop. However, Samsung is still in the game. Kwon’s letter calls for the company to start anew, which is exactly what they need to do to stay afloat.
Of course, creating devices that do not cause injuries and fires will be a start. In addition, new leadership will keep the company relevant and hopefully, revive their reputation.