Lee Kun-hee, the man who honed Samsung to become a global tech giant, died on Sunday at aged 78. Samsung did not identify the cause of his death. According to the company, his family members and son and successor, Lee Jae-yong, were at his side.
The Force Behind Samsung's Rise as a Tech Giant
Lee transformed the humble television developer into a prominent, global company of consumer electronics. However, his leadership was tainted with corruption convictions. He had been admitted to the hospital since May 2014 due to a heart attack as his son run Samsung, South Korea's biggest company, in his place.
According to a statement released by Samsung, "All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him. His legacy will be everlasting," reported AP News.
Lee Kun-hee honed Samsung to become a global powerhouse in smartphones, televisions, and semiconductors. He spent six years in the hospital.
The Samsung Group leader and South Korea's richest person became the country's biggest conglomerate.
South Korea's President Moon Jae-in's statement indicated a personal condolence message to be conveyed to Lee's family at the location, reported Asahi.
Lee Kun-hee acquired control of Samsung Electronics Co. from his father. Lee was the third son of the tech company's founder, Lee Byung-chul, who inherited the office after his father died in 1987. Samsung creates Galaxy phones while also developing the screens and microchips against the company rivals Apple and Google.
According to Forbes, Lee Kun-hee has a net worth of approximately $21 billion dollars. Lee was convicted for tax evasion bribery. He also has been condemned for failing to recognize labor unions.
Samsung Group affiliates witnessed $289.6 billion in revenue last year. This amount made up an estimated 17% of South Korea's gross domestic product (GDP).
Samsung released a statement, "Chairman Lee passed away on October 25 with his family, including Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee, by his side. Chairman Lee was a true visionary who transformed Samsung into the world-leading innovator and industrial powerhouse from a local business. His legacy will be everlasting," reported EWN.
Little was divulged regarding Lee Kun-hee's condition, making him shrouded in mystery until his demise. He also underwent treatment for lung cancer in the late 1990s.
Samsung is the largest of the family-controlled conglomerates. Lee Kun-hee and the empire he built were criticized for wielding large economic clout and for questioned transfers of the family wealth.
In 1942, Lee Kun-hee was born in Japanese-occupied Korea.
The South Korean President sent senior presidential officials to convey a condolence message to the late tycoon's family at a mourning site. In the message, Moon called him a symbol of South Korea's business world and his leadership will provide bravery to the nation's companies during an advent of economic hardships brought upon by the COVID-19 pandemic.
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