Lee Kun-hee, who constructed Samsung Electronics into a world powerhouse in smartphones, semiconductors and televisions, died on Sunday after spending greater than six years in hospital following a coronary heart assault, the corporate mentioned.
Lee, who was 78, grew the Samsung group into South Korea’s greatest conglomerate and have become the nation’s richest particular person. However he was additionally convicted of bribery and tax evasion, and he and the empire he constructed have been vilified for wielding large financial clout, and for opaque governance and doubtful transfers of the family wealth.
“Lee is such a symbolic determine in South Korea’s spectacular rise and the way South Korea embraced globalisation, that his loss of life can be remembered by so many Koreans,” mentioned Chung Solar-sup, chief government of company researcher agency Chaebul.com.
Samsung Group associates’ 326.7 trillion received ($289.6 billion) in 2019 income was value about 17% of South Korea’s gross home product, in line with Honest Commerce Fee information and a Reuters calculation. Lee died together with his family by his facet, the conglomerate mentioned. Lee’s aggressive bets on new companies, particularly semiconductors, helped develop the conglomerate his father Lee Byung-chull constructed from a noodle buying and selling enterprise into a world powerhouse with belongings value $375 billion, together with dozens of associates stretching from electronics and insurance coverage to shipbuilding and building. The loss of life of Lee, who turned group chairman in 1987, with a internet value of $20.9 billion in line with Forbes, might immediate investor curiosity in a possible restructuring of the group.