Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee dies at 78

samsung-chairman-dies-at-78

South Korea’s Electronics Giant Samsung announced the death of its Chairman on Sunday, October 25.

Samsung Chairman Lee Kun-hee, who transformed a second-tier electronics parts maker into the world’s biggest manufacturer of smartphones and televisions, died Sunday after spending six years in a coma following a heart attack in 2014. He was 78 years old.

“It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Lee Kun-hee, chairman of Samsung Electronics,” Samsung said in a statement on Sunday. “All of us at Samsung will cherish his memory and are grateful for the journey we shared with him.”

Lee was surrounded by his family at the time of his death, including Jay Y. Lee, his only son and vice chairman of Samsung Electronics, the company added.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in also mourned Lee’s passing and sent flowers to the funeral, according to the presidential office.

“I’d like to express my deepest condolences for the passing of Chairman Lee Kun-hee, an icon of the Korean business community,” said Moon’s message, delivered by his chief of staff Noh Young-min to Lee’s family members at the funeral.

On behalf of Moon, Noh and senior presidential secretary Lee Ho-seung paid their respects in person at the memorial on Sunday night.

Lee is South Korea’s richest man since at least 2007. After his father and the conglomerate’s founder, Lee Byung-chull, passed away in 1987, Lee took over his company and transformed Samsung into the leading manufacturer of smartphones, smart TVs, and memory chips.

The company’s overall turnover is equivalent to a fifth of the nation’s gross domestic product, making it crucial to South Korea’s economic health.

—(Source: The Diplomat)