Samsung announced that President Lee Kun Hee passed away on October 25 in Seoul, South Korea, at the age of 78.
|Mr. Lee Kun Hee came to receive the prosecutor’s question about tax evasion allegations in Korea in 2008. Photo: AP|
Samsung does not disclose the cause of the Chairman’s death. Mr. Lee had a heart attack in 2014 and is no longer able to work.
In 1987, Mr. Lee took over Samsung Group after his father, founder Lee Byung Chull passed away. At that time, the West only knew Samsung as a manufacturer of low-cost televisions and low-quality microwave ovens sold at discount stores.
Mr. Lee Kun Hee has pushed Samsung forward relentlessly thanks to technical advances. In the early 1990s, Samsung overtook many Japanese and American rivals to become a pioneer in the memory chip market. It also dominates the flat panel market. In the 2000s, Samsung dominated the mobile market again when its handsets became the powerful personal computing device.
Today, Samsung plays an important role in the Korean economy, being one of the largest R&D groups in the world. Mr. Lee Kun Hee was Chairman of Samsung Group from 1987 to 1998, Chairman and CEO of Samsung Electronics from 1998 to 2008, Chairman of Samsung Electronics from 2010 until his death. He is also the richest man in Korea.
During his tenure, although many experts joined Samsung to stretch the corporation, Mr. Lee has always been a great influence and gave strategic directions.
However, like other Korean nepotism empires, Mr. Lee’s career has been quite a hit. In 1996, Lee was found guilty of bribing the President but was later pardoned. More than a decade later, he was found tax evasion but was acquitted again. This time, he continued to lobby to bring the Winter Olympics to the mountain town of Pyeongchang in 2018.
Shortly after the 2018 Winter Olympics, President Lee Myung Bak – term of 2008 – 2013 – was sentenced to 15 years in prison for receiving $ 5.4 million in bribes from Samsung to pardon Lee Kun Hee.
Mr. Lee Kun Hee was born on January 9, 1942 in Daegu. His father prior to founding Samsung was an exporter of dried fruit and fish. Initially, Samsung developed thanks to key consumer goods such as sugar, textiles, then expanded to insurance, shipbuilding, construction, semiconductors … Mr. Lee Kun Hee graduated from Waseda University in Tokyo year. 1965. After that, he studied for a master’s degree at George Washington University but did not have a degree.
He started his career at the Tongyang TV company, a subsidiary of Samsung, in 1966. He worked for Samsung C&T specializing in commerce and construction before being appointed as Vice President of Samsung Group in 1979. When he became President in 1987, he inherited from a father who was oriented towards planning for the distant future, even when the present moment looks good.
In an interview with Forbes shortly after accepting the new position, Mr. Lee Kun Hee said that the company is in a very important transition stage. If they do not move quickly to tech- and capital-heavy industries, their existence could be in danger.
The urgency of the transition was evident when he summoned many senior directors of Samsung Electronics to a luxury hotel in Frankfurt in 1993. For days, he lectured them and urged them to give up. old way of working and thinking. “Change everything, except your wife and kids”, this is one of his famous quotes.
He pointed out that Samsung should focus on improving product quality instead of increasing market share. They also have to bring in talent from abroad and require senior directors to explore international markets, find ways to compete.
Chang Sea Jin, a professor at the National University of Singapore, commented that Lee Kun Hee’s efforts are like “Mao Zedong seeks to change the Chinese mindset”.
In 1995, he visited the Samsung factory in Gumi town after a cell phone shipment was found to be damaged. What happened after that was legendary. According to the book “Samsung Electronics and the difficulties with the leadership of the electronics industry”, 2,000 Gumi factory workers gathered on the field and had to wear headbands that read “Quality First” (quality first). Mr. Lee and the board of directors who underneath a banner read “Quality is My Pride” (quality is my pride).
Together, they witnessed phone numbers, fax machines, other inventory … worth 50 million USD smashed and burned. Staff cry non-stop.
Mr. Lee’s career is not perfect. Believing electronics to be inseparable from cars, he founded a car division in the mid-1990s but had to sell off in 2000.
Samsung entered the world conquest stage in the 2000s using flashy equipment and slick marketing to put its name on international maps and win the hearts of Western users. Even so, Mr. Lee rarely appears in public. He is a well-known sports car and artwork collector.
In 2007, he identified the next crisis that Samsung might face, that is China going up in low-end manufacturing, while Japan and the West are still leading in modern technology. South Korea – including Samsung – stuck in the middle. Just as he was about to overhaul Samsung, accusations of tax evasion resurfaced. Instead of resisting the arrest warrant, he shocked South Korea when he was on television announcing his resignation.
“I promised 20 years ago that the day Samsung is recognized as a top business, all your achievements and glory will be yours. I’m really sorry for not keeping that promise, ”said Lee in 2008.
Mr. Lee was pardoned in 2009 and returned as Chairman of Samsung in 2010. After having a heart attack in 2014, his son, Samsung Electronics Vice President Lee Jae Yong became the face of the company. .
Du Lam (According to NYT)
What does the ‘Prince’ of Samsung come to Vietnam to do?
Samsung Electronics Vice President Lee Jae Yong just departed for Vietnam today and will be working for three days.