Lee Kun-hee, the long-time chairman of Samsung Group who remodeled the conglomerate into one of many world’s largest enterprise empires, died in the present day on 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 house 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 army strongman Chun Doo-hwan to Roh Tae-woo. Beneath his administration, Samsung spearheaded initiatives throughout quite a lot of areas in electronics, together with semiconductors, reminiscence chips, shows, and different elements which can be the spine of in the present day’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 a number of other different so-called Asian Tigers, in addition to the Dot-Com bubble, which noticed the collapse of web shares globally.
Popping out of these difficult years, Lee invested in and might be most well-known in the present day for build up the conglomerate’s Galaxy shopper smartphone line, which developed Samsung from an industrial powerhouse to a worldwide shopper model. Samsung Electronics, which is only one of a spider internet of Samsung firms, is in the present day value roughly $350 billion, making it among the many most useful firms on this planet.
Whereas his enterprise acumen and strategic insights dealing with Samsung have been lauded, he confronted troubles in recent times. He was convicted of tax evasion within the late 2000s, however was in the end pardoned by the nation’s then president Lee Myung-bak (no relation).
Samsung has additionally been underneath fireplace from teams together with Elliott Administration 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 legislation, having been discovered responsible of bribery and sentenced to 5 years in jail, which was in the end suspended by a choose.
After his coronary heart assault, Lee Kun-hee remained hospitalized in steady situation based on Yonhap. Rumors of his situation have percolated within the six years since.
In line with Bloomberg, Lee leaves behind roughly $20 billion in wealth, and he’s the wealthiest South Korean citizen. He’s survived by his spouse in addition to 4 kids.