Samsung chairman suffers heart attack
Samsung Electronics’ 72-year-old chairman Kun-Hee Lee is in a stable condition after suffering a heart attack.
Lee, the son of the group’s founder, was admitted to the Samsung Medical Center in Seoul early Sunday morning and is recovering, the company said in an emailed statement. A Samsung spokeswoman said she had no information about how long he was expected to remain in the hospital.
Under Lee’s leadership Samsung became one of the biggest electronics companies in the world, making a wide range of products from mobile phones to televisions and washing machines. Though Lee is not much involved in the day-to-day business decisions he is believed to have a final say in big decisions, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal.
Lee’s son, Jay Y. Lee, is widely viewed as being groomed to become his successor and lead the company. If he takes over from his father he would be the third generation of the family involved in the company. Kun-Hee Lee took control of the company after his father’s death in 1987.
The 45-year-old Jay Y. Lee has been serving Samsung as vice chairman since 2012, and before that he was the company’s COO. He is the international face of the company and has been credited with having closed deals with companies such as Apple, the Journal reported.
Jay Y. Lee has also worked in Samsung’s corporate strategy office and is said to promote innovation and convergence in the company’s semiconductor, telecommunications and electronics divisions. The younger Lee also played a major role in the formation of the S-LCD corporation, a joint venture between Samsung and Sony that manufactures LCD (liquid crystal display) panels.
Samsung recently took steps to help the chairman’s son take control of the company, according to the Journal. The company did not say anything about its succession plans.