SEOUL—Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who remodeled a second-tier electronics components maker into the world’s greatest producer of smartphones and televisions, died Sunday after mendacity incapacitated in a hospital for greater than half a decade. He was 78 years outdated.
Mr. Lee, who on the time of his dying remained chairman of Samsung, had been hospitalized since Could 2014 after a coronary heart assault left him incapacitated. He already had been in fragile well being and was handled for lung most cancers within the late Nineteen Nineties.
Throughout his greater than three a long time on the helm of Samsung, South Korea’s greatest conglomerate wherein Samsung Electronics Co. is the crown jewel, Mr. Lee remodeled the corporate into a world model that sells every thing from smartphones and semiconductors to life insurance coverage and roller-coaster rides. By all measures, he exceeded each expectation, pushing the corporate to the No. 1 place globally in televisions, smartphones and reminiscence chips.
Mr. Lee, whose father based Samsung, grew to become chairman in 1987. He implored executives to contemplate altering every thing however their spouse and youngsters. He sought to spice up Samsung’s model by means of the Olympics, with the corporate changing into a top-tier sponsor and Mr. Lee serving as an Worldwide Olympic Committee delegate. In 2009, South Korea’s president pardoned Mr. Lee, imploring him to help land the 2018 Winter Olympics for the nation. It labored.
It wasn’t Mr. Lee’s first presidential pardon. He was convicted twice, in 1995 for bribing President Roh Tae-woo after which in 2008 for embezzlement and tax evasion. On the time, Mr. Lee stated the funds within the earlier case had been customary, not bribes, and he pleaded not responsible within the latter.
Even in absentia in his last years, Mr. Lee continued to outline the corporate, particularly because the conglomerate’s makes an attempt to cross dynastic management onto his solely son, 52-year-old vice chairman Lee Jae-yong, sparked ongoing authorized circumstances into alleged bribery and monetary fraud.
Lee Kun-hee’s dying will increase contemporary questions on succession at Samsung. Mr. Lee is the corporate’s largest particular person shareholder, although transferring it to his son or two surviving daughters faces challenges because of South Korea’s 50% inheritance tax.
Samsung, in an announcement Sunday, didn’t say who would substitute Mr. Lee. His son, who was groomed for years because the probably successor, had assumed the position of the group’s de facto chief within the years since his father’s hospitalization.
“Chairman Lee was a real visionary who remodeled Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from an area enterprise,” the corporate stated. “His legacy might be eternal.”
Copyright ©2020 Dow Jones & Firm, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8