Samsung chairman dies at 78, East Asia News & Top Stories

Workers enter the Samsung Group headquarters building in Seocho Seoul on Monday a day after Chairman Lee Kun-hee passed away

Workers enter the Samsung Group headquarters building in Seocho Seoul on Monday a day after Chairman Lee Kun-hee passed away

Lee Kun-hee, the charismatic leader of Samsung Group, died on Sunday (October 25).

Shares in three Samsung affiliates held by the late group chief spiked in the morning session as investors bet that the senior Lee's death may facilitate a revamp of the governance structure at key affiliates, and his only son and group heir, Lee Jae-yong, will secure his grip on the country's largest conglomerate down the road.

As Samsung chairman since 1987, Lee led the company in its meteoric rise to becoming a global powerhouse.

The news comes six years after he was hospitalized for a heart attack.

The company is crucial to the economic well-being of South Korea, as its overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the country's GDP.

He took over Samsung in 1987, and introduced radical measures which helped propel the company from a second-tier electronics manufacturer to an worldwide tech giant.

He is the latest second-generation leader of a South Korean family-controlled conglomerate to die, leaving potentially thorny succession issues for the third generation.

"His 1993 declaration of "New Management" was the motivating driver of the company's vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society".

Boots to launch 12-minute Covid-19 tests
They are not yet accepted by airlines that require a negative Covid-19 test before allowing a passenger to board. In-store testing at Boots comes alongside the rollout of COVID-19 testing in some United Kingdom airports.

In 1995, he assembled 2,000 workers to watch him make a bonfire out of 150,000 mobile phones, fax machines and other company products that failed to meet his quality standards. In 1996, he was convicted of bribing former president Roh Tae-woo in return for business favours, while in 2008 he was found guilty of embezzlement and tax evasion in a slush fund scandal and forced to step down as chairman.

"The leadership he showed will be a great example and courage for our companies as they overcome the crisis and challenges ahead amid hard times we're under due to the coronavirus", President Moon was quoted as saying to the Lee family, according to the presidential office.

Samsung Group affiliates' 326.7 trillion won (RM1.2 trillion) in 2019 revenue was worth about 17 per cent of South Korea's gross domestic product, according to Fair Trade Commission data and a Reuters calculation.

The top court ordered a lower court a year ago to reconsider its suspended jail sentence for him in a massive bribery scandal that led to the ouster of former President Park Geun-hye.

The prosecution also indicted Lee last month over his alleged involvement in the 2015 merger of the two Samsung affiliates and fraudulent accounting of a pharmaceutical unit.

Attendance at Lee's mourning ritual - which runs until Wednesday - will be kept low because of the coronavirus pandemic, Samsung said.

"Samsung is still very much a top-down, bureaucratic company, so whether he can take control of Samsung is a big challenge".

Recommended News

We are pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news.
Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper.
Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.