Lee Kun-hee, the long-time chairman of Samsung Group who remodeled the conglomerate into one of many world’s largest enterprise empires, died right this moment at the age of 78, based on stories from South Korean main information company Yonhap.
The story of Samsung is deeply intertwined with the historical past of its residence nation, which is usually dubbed “The Republic of Samsung.” Lee, the son of Samsung founder Lee Byung-chul, got here to energy within the late 1980s simply as South Korea transitioned from dictatorship to democracy with the political handover from navy strongman Chun Doo-hwan to Roh Tae-woo. Under his administration, Samsung spearheaded initiatives throughout a variety of areas in electronics, together with semiconductors, reminiscence chips, shows, and different elements which can be the spine of right this moment’s digital units.
Lee navigated the difficult financial troubles of the 1990s, together with the 1998 Asian monetary disaster, which noticed a close to collapse of the economies of South Korea and several other different so-called Asian Tigers, in addition to the Dot-Com bubble, which noticed the collapse of web shares globally.
Coming out of these difficult years, Lee invested in and might be most well-known right this moment for build up the conglomerate’s Galaxy client smartphone line, which developed Samsung from an industrial powerhouse to a worldwide client model. Samsung Electronics, which is only one of a spider internet of Samsung corporations, is right this moment value roughly $350 billion, making it among the many most beneficial corporations on the planet.
While his enterprise acumen and strategic insights dealing with Samsung had been lauded, he confronted troubles in recent times. He was convicted of tax evasion within the late 2000s, however was finally pardoned by the nation’s then president Lee Myung-bak (no relation).
Samsung has additionally been underneath hearth from teams together with Elliott Management over chairman Lee’s makes an attempt to safe the monetary way forward for Samsung for his son, Lee Jae-yong, who took over efficient management of the conglomerate following the elder Lee’s coronary heart assault in 2014. Lee Jae-yong has suffered his personal run-ins with the regulation, having been discovered responsible of bribery and sentenced to 5 years in jail, which was finally suspended by a choose.
After his coronary heart assault, Lee Kun-hee remained hospitalized in secure situation based on Yonhap. Rumors of his situation have percolated within the six years since.
According to Bloomberg, Lee leaves behind roughly $20 billion in wealth, and he’s the wealthiest South Korean citizen. He is survived by his spouse in addition to 4 youngsters.