Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, dies on the age of 78

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Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, who turned the South Korean firm into a world tech titan, died on Sunday on the age of 78.

Underneath Lee’s management, Samsung turned the world’s largest producer of smartphones and reminiscence chips, and the corporate’s complete gross sales at the moment are one-fifth of South Korea’s GDP.

Samsung’s meteoric rise helped make Lee South Korea’s richest and strongest industrialist.

“It’s with nice unhappiness that we announce the loss of life of Kun-hee Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics,” the corporate stated in a press release.

“Chairman Lee died on October 25th together with his household, together with Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee by his aspect.

“Chairman Lee was a real visionary who turned Samsung from a neighborhood firm to the world’s main innovator and industrial powerhouse,” stated the corporate, including, “His legacy will final endlessly.”

Samsung is by far the biggest of the family-run conglomerates or chaebols that dominate enterprise in South Korea.

They drove the nation’s transformation from war-torn spoil to the 12th largest financial system on the earth, however as we speak they’re accused of murky political ties and the suppression of competitors – Lee himself has been convicted twice of crime, in a single case he bribed a president.

World energy
In 1987, when Lee inherited the chairmanship of the Samsung Group, which his father based as a fish and fruit exporter, it was already the biggest conglomerate within the nation, with actions starting from shopper electronics to building.

But it surely was seen as a awful producer of low cost, low high quality merchandise.

“Let’s change every part however our wives and youngsters,” Lee stated in 1993.

The corporate collected all 150,000 cell telephones in inventory and burned them to pave the best way for the rebirth of the massively profitable “Anycall” mobile phone.

With Lee on the helm, Samsung turned a world large: when he suffered a coronary heart assault in 2014, Samsung was the world’s largest producer of smartphones and reminiscence chips and a significant provider of semiconductors and LCDs.

Lee hardly ever spoke to the media, however was watched intently when he broke his lengthy silence, typically with fateful New 12 months’s firm addresses.

His son, Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, has been working the corporate because the 2014 coronary heart assault.

“Hermit King”
Regardless of his immense wealth and energy, Lee hardly ever ventured out of the excessive partitions of his non-public compound in central Seoul to go to company headquarters and was nicknamed “Hermit King.”

Lee, the third son of Samsung group founder Lee Byung-chull, had a tender spot for canine – developed as a toddler in Japan, the place he went to highschool from the age of 11. He was additionally identified for his love of flicks, horse using and unique supercars.

He studied on the famend Waseda College in Japan and earned an MBA from George Washington College within the USA.

On the age of 36 he turned vice chairman of the group’s building and industrial department and 9 years later, shortly after his father’s loss of life, chairman of the group.

Lee married Hong Ra-hee – whose father was Legal professional Normal – with whom he had a son and three daughters.

Bribery, embezzlement, tax evasion
The worlds of politics and enterprise are intertwined in South Korea, and the connection was mirrored in Lee’s profession.

In 1996 he was convicted of bribing former President Roh Tae-woo to do Samsung a favor in enterprise choices.

Lee was discovered responsible of embezzlement and tax evasion in a 2008 slush fund scandal during which he briefly retired from company administration.

However suspended sentences meant he was by no means in jail and obtained two presidential pardons to gasoline his nation’s profitable efforts to safe the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Years later, he fought off lawsuits from his older brother and sister claiming they had been entitled to billions of {dollars} value of Samsung inventory.

He had been beneath medical care after his coronary heart assault, however few particulars about his situation had been revealed, leaving him in thriller even in his ultimate days.

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Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics, dies on the age of 78

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