SEOUL, Oct. 23 (Korea Bizwire) — Samsung Electronics Co. may pick a successor to its CEO and Vice Chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, as early as this week, after the top executive announced plans to retire, corporate sources said Sunday.
Insiders familiar with the world’s largest computer chip and smartphone manufacturer said there could be a move to appoint a new chief to head the device salutation (DS) and display business area that Kwon is in charge of.
The vice chairman announced on Oct. 13 that he plans to step down in early 2018.
“To get approval from the board of directors that has been tasked with making key appointment decisions after the dismantlement of the Corporate Strategy Office, a successor should be picked in the next couple of days,” a source said, declining to be identified. The board is expected to meet Oct. 31.
He, however, said that an executive can be picked on the day of the board meeting, and there is even a chance that the meeting can be brought forward by a few days.
Among candidates being mentioned are Jun Dong-soo, head of Samsung’s medical equipment business; Chung Chil-hee, head of the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology; and Park Dong-gun, a senior adviser for Samsung Display Co.
There are even rumors that vice president level executives may be swiftly promoted, leading to a considerable shake-up in the company.
Related to the personnel reshuffle, a source inside Samsung said that there is a need to move swiftly to stabilize the organization so the company can adjust to the new leadership.
He, on the other hand, did point out that there are no clear signs that finding a successor is under way at present.
Finding a replacement for Kwon, who has been with the company for decades, has taken on urgency as Samsung’s heir apparent Lee Jae-yong, is currently behind bars for allegedly providing bribes to the previous Park Geun-hye government in return for winning approval from the state pension, a major shareholder in its affiliate. The merger deal was widely seen as preparatory to putting Lee at the top of the Samsung Group.
Lee’s father and incumbent chairman has been bedridden since 2014 after he suffered a heart attack and has not been able to oversee the management of South Korea’s No. 1 business group.