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Samsung boss to be moved to general ward

Samsung Medical Center said Sunday that it was considering moving Samsung chairman Lee Kun-hee to a general ward from an intensive care unit as his health appeared to be improving. 

The hospital also said in a statement that the cardiac procedure for Lee went very well, and that he is currently stable. 

A hallway in the VIP ward on the 20th floor at Samsung Medical Center. (Kim Young-won)
A hallway in the VIP ward on the 20th floor at Samsung Medical Center. (Kim Young-won)

The statement came after rumors went viral last Friday that the chairman had passed away after an online media outlet reported that Samsung was hiding and downplaying his death to cushion the potential impact on Samsung shares.

On May 11, the chairman of Samsung Electronics was treated for myocardial infarction, commonly referred to as a heart attack. Company officials said the 72-year-old business tycoon received cardiopulmonary resuscitation at a hospital near his home in central Seoul on Saturday night and was immediately taken to Samsung Medical Center, where he underwent a procedure early Sunday morning to widen his arteries.

Lee is expected to be transferred to the VIP ward, on the 20th floor of the hospital.

There are reportedly around eight rooms in this part of the hospital, and no one can enter without permission, according to Samsung executives. 

The VIP ward and the parking lots for VIP patients and their families are currently being guarded by five or six officials from SMC

Lee’s wife Hong Ra-hee, his only son Jay-yong, and two daughters Boo-jin and Seo-hyun are currently regularly visiting or staying with the chairman.

Meanwhile, Samsung Group has said its daily management activities are on schedule despite the hospitalization of Lee Kun-hee, its de facto head.

“We are not arranging any special meetings concerning management disruptions, as the chairman has not been directly involved in managerial affairs,” said Lee June, Samsung’s chief communications official.

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