A surprise farewell announcement by a Samsung Electronics chief executive officer on the day the tech giant paraded another record-quarterly profit last week signals a generational shift within the tech giant leadership and also a change into a technology-focused, business-to-business company from a copycat appliance maker, experts in Seoul said Sunday.
Kwon Oh-hyun, who led Samsung Electronics' thriving chip business and has recently emerged as the public face of the tech giant, said Friday that he will voluntarily step down from the post and would not retain his job as the head of board room that expires in March.
In his emotionally charged letter to Samsung employees, he felt that the timing is right for him to leave now, considering the nature of the fast-evolving IT industry. The leaders of Samsung's global partners nowadays are "young," he said.
Local experts say Kwon's departure reflects the tech giant, though in its thriving status, being pressed with a burden of uncertain future.
"Kwon's decision seems to have been made by his burden of finding new growth engines for the semiconductor business," said Park Ju-gun, founder of conglomerate watcher CEOScore.
Samsung's most lucrative device solutions division is said to be facing a deadlock in its efforts to find a breakthrough for technological innovation and new businesses in response to a rapidly changing IT world.
Kwon described the record-high profit of the DS division as "luck" in a meeting with the country's Industry Minister last month.