In a letter to employees, Kwon noted that as the firm is "confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry".
The "crisis" alluded to in the letter has largely been read as a reference to the imprisonment of Samsung's de facto leader Lee Jae-yong on bribery and corruption charges.
Samsung Electronics Co. said Friday its Vice Chairman and chief executive officer Kwon Oh-hyun will not extend his current tenure in office, which expires in March 2018.
"Now, the company needs a new leader more than ever and it is time for me to move to the next chapter of my life", Kwon said. But in a sign of good news for the company, its estimated operating profits for the July-September period of 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion) marked a record for quarterly profit, almost tripling the 5.2 trillion won earned a year earlier.
Samsung Group still remains South Korea's top conglomerate with businesses ranging from smartphones to hotels, it may have no new plans for taking big decisions following Lee's arrest, experts have said.
The announcement happened on the same day the South Korean based electronics company forecasted for recording breaking earnings in the third quarter. Samsung has been seeking to move past a bribery scandal that saw the company's de facto head Lee Jae-Yong thrown into jail, and to overcome a damaging recall previous year of its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone over exploding batteries. Kwon has served as a vice chairman at Samsung Electronics since 2012 and also served as a senior executive at the company's display division since past year. Sales jumped 30 percent to 62 trillion won ($54.7 billion). But it could also encompass Samsung's recall fiasco with the Note7 smartphone a year ago, with the flagship smartphone having to be pulled off of market shelves due to a fire hazard with its charging mechanism.