Samsung’s doomed heir takes over as head of South Korea’s most valuable company

Samsung de facto leader Lee Jae-yong (also known as Jay Y. Lee) has officially taken over from his late father.

Samsung Electronics’ board of directors has approved Lee’s appointment as the company’s executive chairman, the South Korean firm said in a brief statement today (October 27) which cited “the current uncertain global trading environment” and “the pressing need for enhanced trade accountability and stability”.

The top seat had so far eluded the scion of one of South Korea’s most influential families due to a series of corruption probes and stints in prison.

Now the 54-year-old takes the reins of an electronics giant that looks a lot different than it did two years ago. The supply chain crisis has deepened and geopolitical tensions are high.

family affair

Lee’s grandfather, Lee Byung-chull, founded the grocery trading company Samsung in 1938. Some 30 years later, he established Samsung Electronics. A decade later, Samsung Semiconductor & Telecommunications was established. The last two additions have become the biggest moneymakers.

After the death of the founder in 1987, his third son, Kun-hee, took over the reins and finally grew up the company in the country’s most valuable company, a tech giant that has partnerships with Google and Apple.

Kun-hee also had a run-in with the law, starting in the late 1990s, when he was convicted in a corruption case, but was pardoned. one year later. He left Samsung’s leadership in 2008 after being convicted of tax evasion, but received another presidential pardon. the next year. He was later named as a suspect in another tax evasion case in 2018.

A brief history of the corruption Case hinder the rise of Jay Y. Lee

December 2012 : Lee becomes heir apparent to his family “chaebol” Samsung – the world’s largest technology group by sales at the time – after being promoted to vice president from his position as chief operating officer.

May 2014: His father’s hospitalization raises Lee’s profile as the company’s de facto boss

August 2017: Lee is sentenced to 5 years in prison for corruption, concealment of assets abroad and embezzlement.

February 2018: Lee is released from prison after an appeals court cut his sentence in half and suspended it for four years.

August 2019: South Korea’s Supreme Court orders a new trial.

October 2019: Lee’s new corruption trial begins.

May 2020: Lee issues a public apology and says he will not cede management rights to his children.

October 2020: Lee’s father, Kun-Hee, dies at the age of 78.

December 2020: Prosecutors are asking for a nine-year prison sentence for Lee.

January 2021: The Seoul High Court sentences Lee to two and a half years in prison.

August 2021: Lee is on parole.

August 2022: South Korean president pardons Leeending the five-year ban from his pole position and paving the way for Lee’s rise

Samsung earnings disappoint

Lee was appointed the same day as Samsung announced disappointing results. The tech conglomerate profits fell 23% year over year. Mobile and foundry activity did well, but other segments struggled. Some of the challenges Lee will face include:

💳 Low demand caused his memory activity to shrink

🌎 Geopolitical Headwinds because the United States and Europe want Samsung to increase investment in their territory while moving away from China, the chip manufacturing center

Lee’s priorities, in his own words

“Without a doubt, we are at a pivotal moment. Now is the time to plan our next move. Now is the time to act, to be bold and unwavering in our purpose. —Jay Y. Lee

Related Property of Samsung, bthere the numbers

1.63%: Lee’s stake in Samsung Electronics

$5.9 billion: Lee’s net worth, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index

492 trillion won: Samsung’s market capitalization, equivalent to over $346 billion

Ongoing legal issues

Lee is still fight a case accusing him and ten other Samsung executives of stock price manipulation and accounting fraud. So far, eight people have been charged, while three have been imprisoned.

Related stories

💳 Samsung launches its own credit card service in India

🔂 Samsung replaced its CEOs and reorganized the company again

🌚 South Korea’s success-obsessed culture is finally reckoning with its dark side

Comments are closed.