Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee passes away; tribute to lasting legacy

By Luke Barras-hill |

Technology behemoth Samsung Electronics has paid tribute to Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who died on Sunday (25 October) aged 78.

In a statement obtained by TRBusiness, the South Korean chaebol confirmed that Lee passed away in the company of his family, including son and Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong. The cause of death was not stated.

Lee Kun-hee was described as a ‘true visionary’ who transformed Samsung from a local business into a ‘world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse’.

Lee Kun-hee passed away on 25 October. Source: Wikimedia Commons/Cheong Wa Dae.

SUCCESSION RUMOURS

He was the richest person in Korea, according to Korea stock analyst Chaebul.com.

“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,” read a statement.

“All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him. Our deepest sympathies are with his family, relatives and those nearest. His legacy will be everlasting.”

Press speculation in recent days has focused on a company restructure in the wake of Kun-hee’s passing with the suggestion that Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong is in line to take the reins.

At the time of writing nothing has been officially confirmed and Samsung did not respond to TRBusiness’ request for comment.

In 2017, Lee Jae-yong was found guilty of bribery in a corruption case linked to a confidante of impeached former president Park Geun-hye.

Jae-yong was jailed for five years but he was released in 2018 after an appeals court cut short the sentence.

A source at Samsung Group-owned The Shilla Duty Free says no comments about a possible restructure have been received and a period of mourning is taking place.

 

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