Samsung Electronics vice-chairman Oh-Hyun Kwon has handed in his resignation citing an “unprecedented crisis” within the company.
This follows the imprisonment of Samsung Group heir Lee Jae-yong in August on grounds of corruption.
Mr Jae-yong faces five years in prison and was convicted of bribery and corruption after accusations emerged that he had been giving donations worth 41 billion won (£27.3 million) to non-profit foundations operated by Choi Soon-sil, a friend of South Korea’s former president Park Geun-hye, in return for political favours.
Mr Kwon (pictured) is one of three co-chief executives and claimed he had been thinking about resigning for “quite some time” and could “no longer put it off”.
“As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company [to] start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry,” he said.
Mr Kwon said he would not seek to renew his membership of the board of directors and as chairman of the board when his terms ends 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,” he added.
However, Mr Kwon said that he had a “deep sense of pride” at having been part of the company’s “incredible journey to success”.
“There are no words to describe how proud I am that we built together one of the most valuable companies in the world,” he concluded. “We have come a long way to create a company that truly changes how people live, work and communicate with each other.”