In a shocking announcement on Friday, Samsung Electronics CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun said he plans to step down from management, throwing the tech firm deeper into a leadership crisis. The news comes as Kwon, effectively Samsung’s Number 2 behind embattled heir Jay Y. Lee, was expected to take on a larger role as Lee continues to fight a bribery charge in the South Korean courts.
In his statement, Kwon said that the time had come for the company to “start anew with new spirit and young leadership.”
What makes the announcement hard to comprehend is that it was made at a time when Samsung is in the midst of one of it’s most successful years ever from a revenue standpoint. Samsung’s success in 2017 has been driven by demand for their memory chips and the success of the Galaxy 8 line of phones, and it could receive a boost depending on how well Apple performs with its new iPhone X—which Samsung supplied the OLED displays for.