Chief of Korea’s top conglomerate hospitalized for six years
Samsung Group Chairman Lee Kun-hee died on Oct. 25. Samsung is South Korea’s top conglomerate of which flagship unit is Samsung Electronics, the world’s No. 1 manufacturer of smartphones and memory chips.
The 78-year-old has been hospitalized since 2014 when he collapsed due to a heart attack. Thereafter, the bedridden tycoon has never regained his consciousness.
Born in 1942, Lee took charge of Samsung in 1987 in replace of his father and Samsung founder Lee Byung-chull.
Samsung Electronics came up with a statement to adorn the death of Lee, the businessman who spearheaded the growth of Samsung during is 30-year leadership.
“Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business,” it said.
“His 1993 declaration of ‘New Management’ was the motivating driver of the company’s vision to deliver the best technology to help advance global society.”
Through the New Management declaration, Chairman Lee put quality ahead of quantity, which observers pointed out was the critical point for Samsung’s global growth.
Chairman Lee was survived by his wife Hong Ra-hee, the only son and Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong, and two daughters of Lee Bu-jin and Lee Seo-hyun.
Lee Bu-jin is CEO of Hotel Shilla while Lee Seo-hyun is heading the Samsung Welfare Foundation, a charity founded in 1989 by Chairman Lee.