Samsung Electronics has introduced the demise of its chairman, Lee Kun-hee. The corporate says he died on October 25th with household together with his son, vice-chairman Lee Jae-yong, at his facet. He was 78.

A reason behind demise was not given, however Lee had been incapacitated for a few years after struggling a coronary heart assault in 2014, inflicting him to withdraw from public life. Lee Jae-yong, also referred to as Jay Y. Lee, had been extensively assumed to take over upon his father’s passing and has been seen because the de facto chief in recent times.

Lee Kun-hee was a controversial determine who performed an enormous half in pushing Samsung from an affordable TV and home equipment maker to one of the most powerful technology brands in the world. He grew to become the richest man in South Korea, with the Samsung group contributing round a fifth of the nation’s GDP. In its assertion, Samsung says that Lee’s declaration of “new management” in 1993 was “the motivating driver of the company’s vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society.”

Lee additionally discovered himself in authorized hassle. He was discovered responsible of bribing President Roh Tae-woo by way of a slush fund in 1995, and of tax evasion and embezzlement in 2008, however was formally pardoned for every conviction. The second pardon got here in 2009 and was made “so that Lee could take back his place at the International Olympic Committee and form a better situation for the 2018 Olympics to take place in Pyongchang,” South Korea’s justice minister mentioned at the time.

Lee’s passing will reignite inevitable hypothesis over the succession course of. Whereas Lee Jae-yong has lengthy been groomed to turn into chairman, he’s had authorized problems with his personal since his father’s incapacitation, spending nearly a yr in jail for his position within the corruption scandal that introduced down former South Korean president Park Geun-hye. South Korean legislation additionally signifies that anybody assuming Lee’s belongings will face paying a number of billion {dollars} in inheritance tax, which can drive them to cut back their stake within the firm.

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