Samsung projects record operating profit as key executive Kwho Oh-hyu resigns

Samsung today forecast bumper quarterly earnings, as it looked set for record operating profit for the period. But the development coincided with the resignation of a key executive, Kwon Oh-hyu.

Samsung expects sales in the three months ended 30 September to hit 62 trillion won ($54.9 billion), with quarterly profits forecast at 14.5 trillion won ($12.8 billion), a near 300 per cent increase over the previous year.

The positive outlook was tempered by news of Kwon's departure, a veteran serving as one of three co-CEOs at Samsung Electronics.

"As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company (to) start anew," he said in a statement.

The resignation brings down the curtain on a tumultuous period at the South Korean conglomerate that included the jailing of de facto leader Lee Jae-yong, who was found guilty of bribery and other corruption charges in August.

Samsung is also trying to repair its image with the public, which suffered heavily due to the fire-prone Note 7 fiasco. The phones recall cost the company over $5 billion.

Kwon, who had also served on the board of Samsung Electronics, had exercised oversight on the firm's booming memory chips business.

Meanwhile, according to commentators, the surprise resignation of Samsung's chip and display head came amid expectations he would take on bigger roles following Lee's arrest in February and the departures of other key executives in the wake of the bribery scandal.

''The timing is nonsensical. Samsung tipped record earnings, it's going to be better in the fourth-quarter, and all that's been driven by Kwon's components business,'' said Park Ju-gun, head of research firm CEO Score, Reuters reported.

''We are fortunately making record earnings right now, but this is the fruit of past decisions and investments; we are not able to even get close to finding new growth engines by reading future trends right now,'' Kwon said in a statement.