Reuters is reporting that Samsung Electronics today has replaced its CEO. Choi Gee-sung, the current CEO, will be moving to a position as the head of corporate strategy. This is not a demotion for Choi, as the group he will lead is in charge of all of the companies within Samsung Group. Choi will be replaced by Kwon Oh-hyun (pictured), the current head of Samsung’s Device Solutions division.
Reuters quotes a very generic Samsung response to the issue:
“Choi is the best candidate who can chart Samsung through the global economic crisis and ever-intensifying competition,” Samsung said in a statement, citing an unnamed executive. “Under Choi, Samsung plans to pursue innovative changes.”
It’s easy to see why Samsung would want the person overseeing the company’s component division in the role of CEO. Samsung is the first smartphone manufacturer to show signs that it can truly compete with Apple in the mobile market. Kwon was in charge of the company’s rise as the supplier of many Apple device components. Recently, Kwon announced that Samsung was receiving “huge” orders for the company’s new flexible OLED screens, which it announced at this year’s Consumer Electonics Show in January. Kwon will continue to oversee the Device Solutions division as CEO.
Though Samsung has not officially announced the reasons behind the change in leadership, Reuters reports that Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee is involved in a public family feud, and that Lee is currently grooming his son Jay Y. Lee to take over control of Samsung. An analyst quoted by Reuters states that Choi, as the head of corporate strategy, will be helping to train Jay Y. Lee, who currently serves as Samsung’s chief operating officer, for his future leadership role.