In the list of the richest people in Korea in 2020 published by Forbes on July 9, Samsung Chairman Lee Kin-Hee topped with assets of 17.3 billion USD; His son was fourth with 6.7 billion USD.
As chairman of Korea’s leading chaebol group, Lee Kun-Hee was taken to the hospital after a heart attack at his home in downtown Seoul on May 10, 2014. He was then sent to Samsung Medical Center for stent transplant and lived in the hospital’s reserved area for treatment.
It is known that Samsung president recently can still breathe naturally, awake for 15-19 hours a day and continue to receive rehabilitation treatment. He passed away on October 25 of a deteriorating condition and unsuccessful attempts to cure him.
A Samsung statement said that when Lee Kun-Hee died on Sunday, his family, including his only son and company leader Lee Jae-yong, were with him, but Samsung did not mention. to specific cause. He was treated for lung cancer in the late 1990s.
“Chairman Lee is a true visionary who has transformed Samsung from a local company into a leading global industrial power and innovator,” said Samsung.
When the Samsung chairman took over from his father, Samsung Group founder Lee Byoung Chul in 1987, the company was regarded by many in the West as an electronics company specializing in low-cost TVs and low-quality microwaves. .
But under Lee Kun-Hee’s leadership, Samsung has made significant progress. By the early 1990s, Samsung had overtaken rivals in Japan and the US to become a leader in the memory chip industry.
As screens get thinner and lighter, Samsung has gradually dominated the flat panel industry. And when mobile phones became a powerful computing device in the 2000s, Samsung also laid the foundations in the mid-to-high-end mobile phone market.
Today, Samsung Electronics has become the cornerstone of the Korean economy and its R&D spending ranks among the top in the world. The Samsung Group’s business also includes shipbuilding, life insurance, construction, hotels and amusement parks.
Lee Kun-Hee is the richest man in South Korea, according to Bloomberg statistics, his net worth is about $ 20.7 billion. He served as Chairman of Samsung Group from 1987 to 1998, and President and CEO of Samsung Electronics from 1998 to 2008. From 2010 until his death, he was President of Samsung Electronics. .
Samsung’s total revenue is equivalent to a fifth of Korea’s gross domestic product, which is crucial to the economic situation of Korea. Samsung Electronics alone accounts for 20% of the market capitalization of Korea’s major stock markets.
Lee Kun-Hee and his family have used a complex network of equity to influence other Samsung companies. During Lee Kun-Hee’s time in power, even as professional managers began to shoulder more team responsibilities, he himself still had a significant influence on the company’s overall strategy. Lee Kun-Hee has always wanted to enhance Samsung’s brand value through the Olympics.
In 2009, the President of South Korea granted a second pardon to Lee Kun-Hee in the hope that he would help South Korea host the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. This is the second time Lee Kun-Hee has been granted the presidential pardon. amnesty, and Samsung actually played a pivotal role in the ensuing Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
Lee Kun-Hee’s experience also shows that Korean chaebols tend to adopt suspicious ways to maintain their influence. As a result, many South Koreans were skeptical that chaebol could threaten the entire country.
Lee Kun-Hee has one son and three daughters, eldest son Lee Jae-yong, second daughter Lee Boo-jin (currently the president of The Shilla Hotel), and third daughter Lee Seo-hyun ( is currently vice president of Samsung Group) and Lee Yoon-hin. Since the 1990s, the Samsung president has been investigating the business mentality of one son and three daughters.
Unlike his father, although Lee Kun-Hee prefers his eldest son Lee Jae-yong, he always has a tendency to “raise the taste” of his successor and has never declared himself to inherit the Samsung industry. have a baby. Of the four, Lee Kun-Hee loves his little daughter Lee Yoon Hyung the most, but Lee Yoon Hyung’s sudden death in 2005 forced Li Lee Kun-Hee to focus on other alternatives.
His eldest son, Samsung Electronics vice president Lee Jae-yong, has been in charge of the company since he suffered a heart attack in 2014.
Even when Lee Kun-Hee is constantly absent due to his health condition in the final years, he still has great control over the company. When Samsung attempted to transfer control of the dynasty to its only son, 52-year-old vice president Lee Jae-yong, it immediately revealed the infamous deal between Lee Jae-yong and Choi Soon- sil.
Lee Jae-yong was sentenced to five years in prison for bribery, embezzlement and other charges after he became entangled in a scandal related to the collapse of former President Park Geun-hye in 2017. Then, he was appealed for the most serious crime and released a year later.
On May 7, 2020, Lee Jae-yong announced after his sentence was released that he would end Samsung’s family inheritance system and would not transfer management of the company to his children. Lee Jae-yong has a grown son and a teenage daughter. His last marriage ended in 2009.
This move by Lee Jae-yong is understood by outsiders as declaring an end to Samsung’s family-based inheritance model. But some skeptics said that this is just a PR tactic to promote the image of Samsung. On September 1, South Korea’s Seoul Central District Prosecutor’s Office formally sued Lee Jae-yong on charges of stock manipulation and trust fund breaches, with the successor to Samsung charged with tax evasion.
Lee Kun-Hee’s death will undoubtedly trigger Samsung’s battle for inheritance. According to a report released by Ernst & Young, Korea’s inheritance tax ranks among the top in the world. The highest tax rate, 45% higher in France and 40% higher in the UK and US, is the same as Germany and Switzerland. The minimum tax rate is 18% and the maximum tax rate over 25 million USD is 50%.
Accordingly, anyone who inherits Lee Kun-Hee’s assets will face a $ 7 billion inheritance tax, which could force his children to reduce their stake in Samsung.
Samsung Chairman Lee Kun Hee dies
Samsung announced that President Lee Kun Hee passed away on October 25 in Seoul, South Korea, at the age of 78.