Friday, June 27, 2008

Lee Kun-hee will retire from Samsung on July 1

After Chung Mong-Koo, its Lee Kun-hee’s turn. However, his condition is not as bad as Chung Mong-Koo, the former of chairman of Hyundai Group who is now serving three year suspended sentence. 66 year old Lee Kun-hee, former chairman of Samsung Group, will retire on July 1, 2008 after serving in Samsung for 42 years. Following allegations of tax evasion and breach of trust Lee-Kun-hee resigned on April 22. There were also bribery charges against him but they were dropped. Wall Street Journal reports:

Mr. Lee will officially sever employment ties with Samsung Group July 1 by leaving Samsung Electronics Co., its flagship company, a group spokesman said. "Former Chairman Lee leaves Samsung to keep his promise to do so. He will only remain as a shareholder of Samsung companies," the spokesman said.

Mr. Lee, 66 years old and one of the country's most powerful figures, remains officially employed by Samsung Electronics although he stepped down as its chairman and chief executive in late April.

Analysts said they expect Mr. Lee to remain an influential figure in the group, South Korea's largest conglomerate by assets, even though he is no longer involved in its operations.

Mr. Lee will officially depart from Samsung but he will remain as the biggest individual shareholder of Samsung companies. Mr. Lee holds 1.9% of Samsung Electronics, 3.7% stake in Samsung Everland, and 4.5% of Samsung Life Insurance Co. Mr. Lee also controls another 16.2% stake in the life insurer. After retirement Mr. Lee will remain as an important person in the group but he will not be able to exercise his powers over company operations.

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Wall Street Journal