Kwon Oh-Hyun, co-chief executive officer of Samsung Electronics Co., speaks in March. Photo: Reuters/SeongJoon Cho

Samsung vice chair and CEO Kwon Oh-hyun announced his resignation on Thursday, citing and “unprecedented crisis,” shortly after early morning guidance predicted record operating profits for the third quarter.

“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,” CNBC reports Kwon wrote in a letter to employees.

Despite a corruption scandal that has seen the conglomerate’s de facto head, Lee Jae-yong, handed a five-year prison sentence, Samsung continues to be the world’s most profitable tech company. This is due in no small part to the success of the chip unit lead by Kwon since 2012.

“Semiconductors were the sole driver of its earnings in the third quarter as D-Ram’s supply constraints continued,” Kim Young-woo, analyst at SK Securities, was quoted by the Financial Times as saying “Its earnings record will be renewed in the fourth quarter and next year on booming memory chip sales.”

The surging price of microchips helped Samsung top Intel in the second quarter to become the world’s largest chipmaker.

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