Tainted Samsung Leader Pledges Not To Hand Over Management To His Children

The future management of Samsung will not be handed over to his children by him, said the South Korean electronic giant’s de facto leader Lee Jae-yong.

This announcement was made by the billionaire Samsung vice chairman, who is the son of former chairman Lee Kun-hee, at a press conference in Seoul on Wednesday.

“I do not plan to pass down my role to my children,” the younger Lee, who is also known as Jay Y. Lee, told reporters.

“This is something I have thought about for a long time but have been hesitant to express openly. It was because not only is the business environment difficult, but I felt it would be irresponsible to speak on succession issues when I myself have not been properly proven yet,” he added. His father has been incapacitated since 2014 when he suffered a heart attack.

Samsung is South Korea’s biggest conglomerate. The contribution of the entire group to the country’s economy annually is estimated to be about 15 per cent. Among the group, Samsung Electronics is the biggest part. It is also the top smartphone maker of the world as well as the largest supplier of memory chips and display screens in the world.

Lee also apologized for shortcomings in his leadership of the company, potentially in reference to him being jailed in 2017 after what many called the “trial of the century”. He was also convicted by a South Korean court in relation to charges of bribery linked to the company’s succession as well as for the ouster of the former South Korean President Park Geun-hye.

Samsung has “failed, at times, to meet society’s expectations” acknowledged Lee on Wednesday. Some of the controversies that had been faced by the company in recent years, which included disputes over the forming of labor unions as well as his own criminal trial, were discussed during the press conference by him.

“This has been my fault,” Lee said. “I offer my sincere apology.”

These comments and public apologies were made by the executive of Samsung after an independent compliance committee of the company advised Lee to apologize publicly over the manner in which he had handled the succession issue of the company as well as labor policies.

Even though Lee was let out from jail in 2018, his case remained a talking point in South Korea for many months since. The case was a part of a huge influence-peddling scandal that resulted in the ouster of the government of former President Park.

A retrial for Lee was ordered by South Korea’s top court last August which has reignited interest in the case and raised concerns about the possibility of Lee being sent back to prison once again.

On the other hand, the business of Samsung seems to have weathered the novel coornavirus pandemic well which it reporting increases in revenue and operating profit last week for the first quarter of the current year. However the company also issued warnings of headwinds in the near future to its business because of the coronavirus pandemic.

(Adapted from CNN.com)

Categories: Economy & Finance, Regulations & Legal, Strategy, Sustainability, Uncategorized

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