The chairman of Samsung Electronics, Lee Kun-hee, who made the South Korean company a global name, has died at the age of 78.
Under Lee’s leadership, Samsung has become the world’s largest producer of smartphones and memory chips with a fifth equivalent turnover of South Korea’s GDP.
Renowned for his resurrected lifestyle, Lee went to bed in 2014 due to a heart attack. His condition was rarely revealed, and even in his last days he was shrouded in mystery.
“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Kun-hee Lee, chairman of Samsung Electronics,” the company said in a statement.
“Chairman Lee died next to him on October 25, along with his family, including his vice chairman, JY Lee … his legacy will last forever.”
Samsung is by far the largest of the family-controlled companies. These Fungi It influenced business in South Korea and transformed it from war-torn ruins into the world’s twelfth largest economy. Nowadays they are facing investigations for incomprehensible political ties and suffocating contests – Lee himself has twice been convicted of criminal offenses, in one case for bribing the president.
When Lee presided over the team in 1977 – founded by his father to supply fish, fruit and noodles – Samsung was already the largest team in the country, with everything from consumer electronics to construction.
Lee sharpened his focus and took it worldwide: it was the world’s largest maker of smartphones and memory chips by the time he suffered a heart attack in 2014. It is a major global player in semiconductor and LCD displays.
Lee rarely came out of the high walls of his private compound in central Seoul to visit the company’s headquarters and earned the nickname “Slave King”.
His son, Lee Jae-young, vice-chairman of Samsung Electronics, has been at the helm of the company since the 2014 heart attack.
The boy was jailed for five years after being convicted of bribery and other crimes with former President Park Geun-hye, before being cleared of the most serious charges on appeal and released a year later. That case is being tried again.
With the Associated Press
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