Samsung names 3 new CEOs in wake of corruption scandal

Samsung Electronics on Tuesday announced record third-quarter profits — and sweeping leadership changes atop its three major divisions.

Samsung on Tuesday announced record third-quarter profits and a change in leadership atop its three major divisions. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo
Samsung on Tuesday announced record third-quarter profits and a change in leadership atop its three major divisions. File Photo by Molly Riley/UPI | License Photo

The company identified three new chief executives for its components, consumer electronics and mobile divisions.
Samsung also announced that it will separate, for the first time, the positions of board chairman and CEO. Both positions were previously held by the retiring Kwon Oh-hyun, who announced his departure earlier this month and said the electronics giant is having difficulty finding new growth areas. He will remain on Samsung’s board until next year.

The new appointees are Kim Ki-nam for components, Kim Hyun-suk for consumer electronics and Koh Dong-jin for Samsung’s mobile division. Kwon said Tuesday they are “well suited to accelerate the pace of innovation and address the demands of the connected world.”

The shakeup at Samsung comes after a number of recent corporate missteps.

The company’s de facto leader, Lee Jae-yong, was convicted in August of bribing the since-impeached president of South Korea — and a 2016 recall of Galaxy 7 smartphones was expensive and embarrassing for the company.

While Samsung remains strong in sales, some say the company is slow to adapt to new technologies embraced by competitors, and faces tough competition from Apple and other tech leaders.

The leadership changes came as Samsung announced record third-quarter profits — largely from strong demand for memory chips used in servers and mobile devices.

Profit rose to about $10 billion in Q3, Samsung said — up from $4 billion in Q2. Samsung shares rose 2 percent to a record high Tuesday on South Korean stock exchanges.

By Ed Adamczyk