Lee Kun-hee helped make South Korea a global leader in high-tech manufacturing.
Under his chairmanship, Samsung branched out into many other industries as well, and is now worth more than a quarter trillion dollars, as our Kim Yeon-seung reports.
In his three decades as the chairman of Samsung Group, Lee Kun-hee grew the company into a global tech giant.
When he took over as chairman in 1987 after the death of his father, who founded the company, Samsung’s market cap was around 900 billion won.
Under Lee Kun-hee’s management, it rose by almost 350 fold to around 282 billion U.S. dollars.
Samsung Group’s overall turnover accounts for a fifth of South Korea’s GDP.
Lee Kun-hee’s success as a leader is often attributed to his deep-rooted philosophy of change and innovation.
His famous slogan was “change everything, except for your wife and children.”
He pushed the company to become the world’s biggest memory chip maker in the early 90s, surging ahead of its Japanese and American competitors.
By 2012, Samsung Electronics had become number one in the mobile industry as well.
While head of Samsung, Lee Kun-hee was convicted twice of white collar crimes like bribery and tax evasion, though he was pardoned both times.
The last six years of his life were spent in hospital after he was left incapacitated by a heart attack.
He died as the richest man in South Korea.
Now his son, Lee Jae-yong, who is the current vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, is widely expected to take over.
Kim Yeon-seung, Arirang News.

Reporter : winning@arirang.com

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