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Samsung boss quits

by on14 February 2020

Can't attend meetings for a year and a half due to a bad case of jail

Samsung Chairman Lee Sang-hoon, who was convicted and jailed for sabotaging union activities, has resigned from the South Korean company.

The move should not be a surprise given that Lee Sang-hoon and can hardly be expected to attend board meetings, but this is not necessarily logical in Korea.  Lee Sang-hoon was given a 1-1/2 year jail sentence in December for sabotaging legitimate union activities. He has appealed against the decision.

The resignation comes less than two years after Lee’s appointment split the chairman and chief executive roles for the first time in an effort to enhance transparency and independence of the world’s top memory chip manufacturer in the wake of a corruption scandal involving group heir Jay Y. Lee.

Samsung said Lee’s successor will be appointed in the near future and could be picked from remaining members of its board, which consists of six external directors and three internal executives. Those include the three CEOs of Samsung’s components, mobiles and consumer electronics divisions.

The change at the top comes as Jay Y. Lee faces trial on charges that he bribed a friend of former president Park Geun-hye to win government favour over succession planning at the conglomerate.

Samsung and some of its key affiliates have recently appointed external experts to a new oversight panel to stamp out criminal conduct. Having the company run by people who are in prison seems to be a bit of a no brainer.

The company is expected to hold a shareholder meeting in March if no one else has been jailed.

Last modified on 14 February 2020
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