Samsung today confirmed that its chairman, Lee Kun-hee (left) passed away died on Sunday. The cause of his death is not clear but Lee Kun-hee, 78, was bedridden and out of public limelight after suffering a heart attack six and a half years ago.
Lee is the person for Samsung’s success that we see today. He took the reigns from his late father and Samsung founder, Lee Byung-chull in 1987 and worked towards making “Korea’s Samsung” to “World’s Samsung”. Under his management, the company managed to increase profits from 200 billion won to 72 trilion won with a market cap increasing from 1 trillion won to 396 trillion won.
That said, despite his management success, Lee was a controversial figure in South Korea due to corruption scandals over the years as well as maintaining the convoluted ownership structure of the subsidiaries to keep the group under his family.
There is no official word as to who will assume his position in the future but Samsung has been grooming his son Jae-yong Lee for years now and is the vice chairman of Samsung Electronics. He, too, like the senior Lee has run-ins with the law.