Heavy tasks placed ahead of Chairman Jay Y. Lee of Samsung Electronics
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Heavy tasks placed ahead of Chairman Jay Y. Lee of Samsung Electronics
  • Lee Kyung-sik
  • 승인 2022.10.28 11:53
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Hankyoreh editorial on Oct. 27

Samsung Electronics Vice Chairman Jay Y. Lee took office as chairman after a resolution by the board of directors on Oct. 27. It's been 10 years since Lee became vice president. It has been two years since his father, Chairman Lee Kun-hee, passed away.

As a result, Samsung's third-generation management succession work, which was stained with expedients and illegal methods, was finalized. However, the tasks ahead of him as chairman are not easy.

The “judicial risk” that emerged in the process of succession of management rights is still there, and the external economic conditions are also deteriorating. Perhaps new Chairman Lee has been put to the real test.

Chairman Jay Y. Lee of Samsung Electronics is answering questions to reporters asking how he feels about the promotion after attending the first trial on accounting fraud and unfair merger held at the Seoul Central District Court on Oct. 27.
Chairman Jay Y. Lee of Samsung Electronics is answering questions to reporters asking how he feels about the promotion after attending the first trial on accounting fraud and unfair merger held at the Seoul Central District Court on Oct. 27.

It was in front of the court that Chairman Lee, who did not have an inauguration ceremony, announced his impressions on his inauguration.
He also appeared at the Seoul Central District Court on the same day that the first trial on suspicion of unfair succession of management rights is ongoing.
It cannot but be a symbolic scene that shows one aspect of the “judicial risk” facing him.

The alleged unfair merger of Samsung C&T and Samsung Biologics' accounting fraud, which took place in the process of management succession, are two sides of the same coin with the "state affair manipulation" (bribery and embezzlement) case, which he received a special pardon.
For this reason, when his amnesty was decided, there was a criticism that he was undermining the judicial justice.

From the 1996 Everland Convertible Bond Low Price Allocation to fraudulent accounting, his management succession process is far from justice.
It is necessary to ponder the reason for the criticism that his inauguration as chairman is “a work against fairness and common sense (Solidarity for Economic Reform)”.

Chairman Lee held a press conference to apologize to the public in May 2020 when the trial of the state affairs manipulation case was underway and declared "the abandonment of the fourth-generation management."

Governance reform is essential to carry out that promise. I hope that Chairman Lee come up with a way to stabilize management without going against the common sense of society.

When Chairman Lee takes office, there are many prospects that the organization that will serve as the group's control tower will be revived.

Even if a generalizing and coordinating function is necessary, there should be no organization that serves the interests of the head of the family, crossing the border between legal and illegal, like the ‘Future Strategy Office’, which was dismantled due to the ‘state affairs manipulation case.
The Samsung Electronics Board of Directors cited “deteriorating global external conditions” and “strengthening responsible management” as reasons for the appointment of Chairman Lee.

The chairman's failure to act as a registered director while emphasizing responsible management raises criticism that he only exercises his authority without taking responsibility.
Along with demonstrating management capabilities, the chairman will have to fulfill his social responsibilities such as guaranteeing labor rights, communication with civil society, and compliance with the laws promised in the his 2020 apology to the public. Of course, the ongoing trial must be done fairly regardless of his appointment as chairmsan.
 


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