Samsung Electronics announced Tuesday three executives who have served for the South Korean company for more than two decades will replace three outgoing chief executives, in a major reshuffle of its line-up of presidents.
Presidents Kinam Kim, Hyunsuk (HS) Kim, and Dongjin (DJ) Koh will succeed Vice Chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon, Presidents Boo-Keun Yoon and Jong-Kyun Shin, respectively, as heads of the DS, CE, and IM Divisions. The Company will maintain the current three co-CEO management structure. All new appointments will be effective immediately, the company said in a statement.
According to Samsung analysts, the company bulldozed these management changes – despite posting its highest ever profits – to start building a system personally controlled by imprisoned Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. Daniel Yoo, head of the global strategy team at Kiwoom Securities told CNBC that ‘some Samsung watchers were concerned that Kinam Kim's appointment might see the tech giant aggressively increase production of DRAM memory chips.’ But Yoo suggested that this is unlikely to happen "due to competition that might rise from China and Taiwan."
In a joint statement, Mr. Yoon and Mr. Shin said that they have made the decision to follow Mr. Kwon’s earlier announcement to resign, making way for new leaders. “It is an honor and a privilege to have been part of the historic rise of Samsung Electronics. We are confident that our successors will keep the Company on its growth path.”
Separately, President Sang-Hoon (SH) Lee will leave his position as CFO, effective immediately. Mr. Lee has been recommended by outside Board members to be Chairman of the Board and succeed Mr. Kwon next March. This would mark the first time that the Company will separate the Chairman of the Board and the CEO roles, the company said.
Meanwhile, the Korean tech titan also announced record profits for the third quarter arising from significant demand for memory chips used in servers and mobile handsets.