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Samsung unveils new co-CEOs in changing of guard after scandal

Samsung Electronics called a new generation of leaders in its three main companies on Tuesday (Oct 31) since it attempts to secure the ship, following the arrest of band scion Lee Jae Yong before this year on charges including bribery. The South Korean technology giant also announced that chief financial officer (CFO) Lee Sang Hoon was recommended as the new chairman of this board, and that long-time co-CEOs JK Shin and Yoon Boo Keun would step down.

Kim Ki Nam, 59, was appointed to direct the device solutions division making components including memory chips; Koh Dong Jin, 56, could venture up IT and mobile communications; and Kim Hyun Suk, 56, could direct consumer electronics, Samsung said in a statement. The modifications were effective immediately.

The current three co-CEO management structure would be preserved, it added, without elaborating. Samsung is forecast to urge the three new heads of branches as co-CEOs following the next shareholder meeting in March. A Samsung spokesman declined to comment. Current CFO Lee Sang Hoon would resign from this function, effective immediately, and had been advocated as chairman of this board.

The moves come after Samsung Electronics CEO and vice-chairman Kwon Oh Hyun declared on Oct 13 that he planned to resign from management. Samsung said Yoon and Shin chose to follow Kwon's previous statement to resign, making way for new leaders. Lee Jae Yong was detained in August and imprisoned for five years for bribing the nation's former president Park Geun Hye, increasing worries of a leadership vacuum at Samsung Electronics. He has appealed against his conviction and hearings are continuing.